MOSCOW, January 7. /TASS/. The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is ready to extend assistance to Kazakhstan upon a request from its relevant agencies, SCO RATS Executive Committee said on Friday.
"[The Executive Committee] expresses readiness to extend necessary assistance from the SCO RATS if there is a corresponding request from Kazakhstan’s relevant body," it said.
The SCO RATS expressed serious concern over the situation in Kazakhstan. It stressed however that it is convinced that the measures taken in that country will help stabilize the situation as soon as possible. "[The Executive Committee] expressed all-round support for the resolute comprehensive measures taken by the country’s leadership to ensure public security, protect the constitutional system of Kazakhstan. We are convinced that the measures that are being taken by the government, law enforcement and special agencies will make it possible to stop illegal actions of terrorist and bandit groups and cells as soon as possible," it said.
The SCO RATS also offered its condolences to the families of servicemen and law enforcers killed in riots.
Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2 to grow into mass riots with attacks on government buildings in many cities several days later. Thousands have been injured and fatalities have also been reported. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev asked help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, or CSTO, a post-Soviet security bloc. CSTO peacekeepers have already been deployed to Kazakhstan. According to the Kazakh authorities, law and order had been restored in all of the country’s regions by the morning on January 7. However, the situation in Almaty is still very tense.