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Russia-led bloc helps Kazakhstan preserve state integrity — state secretary

NUR-SULTAN, January 10. /TASS/. The Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) peacekeepers made it possible for Kazakhstan to preserve its state integrity, Kazakh State Secretary Erlan Karin told the Khabar 24 TV channel on Monday.

“The resolute actions of the [Kazakh] president, particularly his decision to invite the CSTO’s peacekeepers, ruined plans to destabilize the situation,” he pointed out.

According to Karin, the situation was critical and required tough and decisive measures. “Inviting the CSTO’s peacekeeping forces ruined all the plans to destabilize the situation. It allowed the country’s law enforcement agencies to focus on a counterterrorism operation,” the Kazakh state secretary explained, adding that “it made it possible to protect state integrity.”

Karin pointed out that the CSTO’s peacekeepers were only engaged in protecting strategic facilities. “The question was not just about preserving law and order. It was also about preserving and protecting the state. We were able to preserve our state through the actions that were taken in those dramatic days in January,” Karin said, when speaking about Kazakhstan’s request for the CSTO’s assistance.

Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2, escalating into mass riots with government buildings getting ransacked in several cities a few days later. The ensuing violence left scores of people injured, with fatalities also 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 have already been deployed to Kazakhstan. Law and order, Kazakh authorities affirm, was restored to all of the country’s regions by January 7. Tokayev declared January 10 a day of national mourning.

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