MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s request for assistance corresponded to the situation in the country at the time and the deployment of the peacekeeping contingent of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was quite timely, CSTO’s Secretary General Stanislav Zas said on Friday.
"The deployment (of the CSTO peacekeeping mission to Kazakhstan - TASS) was quite timely. I think that Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s request for CSTO help was absolutely in keeping with the situation that had developed in Kazakhstan by then," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.
"As a matter of fact, there were real threats to the state, to its stability and territorial integrity. That is why the deployment (of the CSTO peacekeepers - TASS) was carried out that swiftly," he noted, adding that the situation with mass riots in Kazakhstan was changing every day but was somewhat stabilized after the deployment of peacekeepers.
Kazakhstan hasn’t asked the Collective Security Treaty Organization to participate in any riot control efforts, CSTO Secretary General noted.
"There was readiness on our part to do so, but it wasn’t requested," he said.
Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2, escalating into mass riots with government buildings being ransacked in several cities a few days later. The ensuing violence left scores of people injured, with fatalities also being reported. Subsequently, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev turned to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) requesting assistance from the Russia-led bloc. As a result, peacekeepers were deployed to Kazakhstan. Law and order, Kazakh authorities affirm, was restored to all of the country’s regions.
The withdrawal of the contingent from Kazakhstan began on January 13. According to the Russian defense ministry, the first Russian peacekeepers returned to Russia from Kazakhstan by four Il-76MD planes on Thursday.