MOSCOW: Well-organized groups of militants, who were trained in terrorist camps abroad, were used to attack Kazakhstan in “an act of aggression,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said, commenting on the unrest in the Central Asian country.
Kazakhstan faced a threat to its statehood, which was caused not by spontaneous protests over a fuel price hike, but by the fact that “destructive internal and external forces” took advantage of the situation, Putin said at an extraordinary session of the Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
“We are observing the aggression of international terrorism: where did these gangs of armed people who were trained in foreign countries come from?” he asked at the online meeting, without providing an answer.
Putin praised the CSTO peacekeeping forces for their effective protection of key facilities in Kazakhstan.
The peacekeepers will operate in Kazakhstan as long as its president deems it necessary, and the entire forces will be withdrawn from Kazakhstan after the mission is completed, he said.
“The measures taken by the CSTO have clearly shown that we will not allow the situation to be rocked at home and will not allow the scenarios of the so-called color revolutions to be realized,” he said.
Putin urged the CSTO to develop measures to jointly counter “destructive external interference” in the affairs of the organization’s member states. -Agencies