Thu 13 January 2022:
The withdrawal of Russian-led forces from Kazakhstan has begun, according to local media on Thursday.
At a farewell ceremony held at the Sagadat Nurmagambetov Land Forces Military University in Almaty, the former capital, peacekeeping forces from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan were transferred back to their respective countries.
Kazakhstan’s Deputy Defense Minister Mukhamedzhan Talasov, CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas, CSTO Peacekeeping Force Commander Anatoly Serdyukov, and Almaty Governor Bakytzhan Sagintayev were among those who attended the ceremony, according to Kazinform.
Meanwhile, the CSTO member nations’ Council of Defense Ministers will ratify the withdrawal mechanism during an exceptional video conferencing set for Thursday.
Within 10 days, the CSTO peacekeeping mission of over 2,500 soldiers and 250 pieces of equipment will leave the former Soviet republic.
On Wednesday, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with Zas and expressed gratitude to the CSTO allies for their support and help in the wake of what he described as a “terror attack” on Kazakhstan.
Meanwhile, the Kazakh presidency declared in a statement that the state of emergency in northern Kazakhstan, Pavlodar, and west Kazakhstan had been abolished as of Wednesday.
The “red terrorism threat level” was also canceled in 14 regions, including the capital Nur-Sultan, according to the country’s National Security Committee.
Protests erupted in Kazakhstan on Jan. 2 in the city of Zhanaozen in Mangystau over an increase in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices, which subsequently evolved into skirmishes with the police, with the most violent developments in Kazakhstan’s former capital Almaty.
Tokayev immediately appealed to the CSTO partners for assistance, and within a short time, peacekeepers from Russia, Belarus, Armenia, and Tajikistan arrived in Kazakhstan to assist Kazakh law enforcement in restoring order.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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