11.Jan .2022 18:55

Russia-led troops to start leaving Kazakhstan in 2 days

Russia-led troops to start leaving Kazakhstan in 2 days
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Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told parliament on Tuesday that the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) military bloc will start withdrawing its troops from Kazakhstan in two days.

"The main mission of the CSTO peacekeeping forces has been successfully completed," Tokayev said during a session broadcast live on state television, DW (Deutshe Welle) reports.

"In two days a phased withdrawal of the CSTO united peacekeeping contingent will begin. The withdrawal process of the contingent will take no more than 10 days," he said.

This comes after nearly a week of unrest, by far the worst violence in the 30-year independent history of the former Soviet state.

A mission of more than 2,000 troops and military hardware was deployed at the peak of the crisis last week amid concerns that Moscow would use the presence of its forces to shore up its influence in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan's new government

The president on Tuesday also nominated candidates for government posts, including that of the prime minister.

He picked acting prime minister Alikhan Smailov to take on the job permanently, and Kazakhstan's lower house swiftly voted to confirm his nomination with unanimous support.

Smailov, 49, served as deputy prime minister in the government that resigned last week.

Turkey welcomed the appointment of the new prime minister and the easing of tensions, the country's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at an extraordinary virtual meeting of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS).

He added that Turkic nations would stand by Kazakhstan with all their resources and provide full support.

The OTS includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Hungary and Turkmenistan are observer nations.

A week of violent unrest

Government buildings in several cities were briefly captured or set alight after protests escalated.

Dozens of people were killed in clashes between protesters and government forces in what Tokayev called an attempted coup d'etat coordinated by "a single center."

Troops were ordered to shoot to kill to put down the unrest that grew out of a peaceful protest against an energy price hike in the west of the country.

Security forces have detained 9,900 people since the crisis began in the oil-rich Central Asian nation, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.