How the West reacted to the deployment of CSTO peacekeepers

How the West reacted to the deployment of CSTO peacekeepers

Anna Gromova

Foreign forces were involved in the protests in Kazakhstan, which wanted to worsen the situation in the neighboring country before the talks between Moscow and the United States, said Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, a former adviser to ex-Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The fact that the CSTO countries, including Russia, agreed to send their peacekeepers to Kazakhstan to quell the riots, in his opinion, “infuriated the entire West.” Earlier, Washing-ton doubted that the req-uest of the Kazakh autho-rities to the allies for such assistance was justified, and demanded an explanation from Nur-Sultan.
The European Union (EU) and the US have a strong interest in Kazakhstan because of its minerals, especially oil and gas, Ertysbayev explained in an interview with RIA Novosti. He clarified that the EU and the US have already invested $ 376 billion in the republic, most of the money went to the hydrocarbon sector.
In his opinion, it was decided abroad to destabilize the situation in the country in order to complicate the situation “in the rear” of Russia.
“The introduction of the CSTO troops has now infuriated the entire West. The fact that foreign external forces arranged or are involved in this brawl and in the attempted armed rebellion <…> is beyond any doubt <…>. This had to be done in order to create an unpleasant hotbed in the rear of Russia, because Russia will begin tough negotiations next week with the United States of America, NATO,” – explained the ex-adviser to the president.
According to him, if chaos “settled” in Kazakhstan, “tens of thousands of terrorists from all over the world would rush into the country”. Including from hidden terrorist cells of Islamists in Central Asia. “Islamization of Central Asia has reached monstrous proportions in 30 years,” Yertysbayev noted.
He added that in this way Kazakhstan would find itself in a dangerous situation and the authorities of the republic did the right thing by turning to the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) countries for help. According to the former adviser, in this way Kazakhstan was able to show international terrorism that it is not alone, but in a strong military-political alliance.
Why did the peacekeepers come to Kazakhstan
In Kazakhstan, the CSTO peacekeepers will be deployed for the first time since the creation of these forces in 2009. On January 5, the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, asked to bring in peacekeepers. He said that the riots in the country involved “international gangs” who have received extensive training abroad.
“Their attack on Kazakhstan should be viewed as an act of aggression. In this regard, relying on the Collective Security Treaty, today I turned to the heads of the CSTO states to help Kazakhstan overcome this terrorist threat, ”he announced during an urgent night meeting of the Security Council of Kazakhstan.
In Kazakhstan told about the timing of the CSTO mission
The peacekeeping forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will leave Kazakhstan after… 10 January 08:28.
Tokayev noted that the riots undermine the integrity of the state. He also explained that he is obliged to protect the citizens of the country who ask the authorities for help.
During the night of January 5-6, the CSTO Collective Security Council agreed to help Kazakhstan. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is now the chairman of the Council, explained that the organization made a decision in accordance with Article 4 of the Collective Security Treaty. It assumes collective assistance, including military assistance, if “one of the participating states is subjected to aggression (an armed attack threatening security, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty)”. Pashinyan stressed that the riots in Kazakhstan threaten the national security and sovereignty of the country and are caused, “among other things, by outside interference.”
All members of the CSTO (except for Kazakhstan itself): Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, have confirmed their readiness to participate in the operation. The first peacekeepers from Russia flew to Kazakhstan on January 6, Russia deployed paratroopers from Ulyanovsk and Ivanov to help the ally, along with standard military equipment.
Russian military aircraft transported not only domestic forces, but also units of the allies. A few days later, by January 8, servicemen from all CSTO countries arrived in Kazakhstan. By January 9, the deployment of peacekeepers in Kazakhstan was completed.
As for the Russian forces, the Russian Defense Ministry explained that they are not directly involved in the suppression of the riots. Russian peacekeepers guard important facilities, such as the Almaty airport and social infrastructure.
Leonid Kalashnikov, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee on the CIS, also clarified that the CSTO peacekeepers, in principle, will not participate in clashes with the rioters. Their task is to protect military infrastructure and other facilities, and “the local security forces will deal with the gangs themselves.” Later, the State Secretary of Kazakhstan Yerlan Karin confirmed that the CSTO peacekeepers are engaged in Kazakhstan only with protection.
How long the peacekeepers will stay in Kazakhstan is uncertain. The head of the CSTO peacekeeping contingent, Colonel-General Andrei Serdyukov, only said that they would remain in the republic until the situation completely calmed down.
How the West reacted to the deployment of peacekeepers
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that so far Washington has doubts about the use of CSTO peacekeepers in Kazakhs-tan. “We have questions ab-out the essence of [Kaz-akhstan’s appeal to the CS-TO]. Was the request justified? We do not know this yet, ”she said on January 6.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on January 7 warned Kazakhstan about the consequences of admitting Russian troops to its territory. “One lesson from history: when Russians are in your house, it can be difficult to get them to leave,” said Blinken.
Later, on January 9, he said that the United States was still awaiting clarification from Kazakhstan regarding the deployment of peacekeepers. “We have real questions about why they were forced to turn to this organization, which is dominated by Russia. We ask for clarification on this matter, ”he said.
The EU reacted more restrainedly to the deployment of CSTO peacekeepers. The head of the European Union’s foreign policy service, Josep Borrell, indicated on January 6 that foreign military personnel had arrived with the consent of the Kazakh authorities. “We expect that the presence of foreign forces will not undermine the independence of Kazakhstan. Since we are now talking about the implementation of the agreement between the independent states, we have nothing to say. But in any case, the presence of foreign troops on the territory of another state is something that we must observe with caution, ”he explained.
At the same time, Borrell said that “outside military assistance brings up memories of situations that should be avoided.”
Moscow’s reaction
The Russian Foreign Ministry called rudeness the words of the US Secretary of State that it could be difficult to “force Russians to leave” a foreign country.
“US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken joked about the tragic events in Kazakhstan in his typical boorish manner. <…> If Anthony Blinken is so fond of history lessons, then let him mean the following: when Americans are in your house, it can be difficult to stay alive, not to be robbed or raped, “- said in response the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova.
She stressed that the introduction of Russian peacekeepers into Kazakhstan is a legitimate decision.

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