MINSK, January 15. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that he had worked out a plan of sending a peacekeeping contingent of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to Kazakhstan jointly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the BelTA news agency reported on Saturday.
"I can say more, without boasting. This entire operation, down to its details, was worked out by two presidents - of Russia and Belarus - within an hour. A scenario was mapped out and the Defense Ministries directed by [Russian Defense Minister Sergey] Shoigu and [Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor] Khrenin worked out details of the two presidents’ plan in the General Staffs and the first planes departed for Kazakhstan a few hours after that. All was done quickly and decisively, without any hesitation," Lukashenko said at a meeting with the Belarusian peacekeepers who had arrived from Kazakhstan.
Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2, escalating into mass riots with government buildings getting ransacked in several cities, primarily in Almaty, a few days later. The ensuing violence left thousands of people injured, with fatalities also being reported. Subsequently, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev turned to the Collective Security Treaty Organization requesting assistance from the Russia-led bloc.
On January 6, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan holding the rotating chair in the CSTO announced the post-Soviet security bloc’s decision to send peacekeepers to Kazakhstan. The peacekeeping operation in the Central Asian republic involved the military contingents from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Law and order, Kazakh authorities affirm, was restored to all of the country’s regions.
The Kazakh president later said that the post-Soviet security bloc’s forces had played a crucial role in stabilizing the situation in Kazakhstan and called their mission successful. On January 13, the CSTO began the pullout of its peacekeeping contingent from the Central Asian republic.