By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) – The Russian president on Thursday discussed the situation in Kazakhstan and a gradual withdrawal of peacekeepers with his Kazakh and Uzbek counterparts, the Kremlin said.
In a phone call, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev briefed Vladimir Putin on the measures for restoration of order in Kazakhstan, and the effective actions of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) peacekeeping force, a statement said.
“He (Tokayev) extended special gratitude for the help and support of the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan’s strategic partner and ally in the CSTO."
In another phone call, Putin and Uzbek leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev discussed stabilization in Kazakhstan and bilateral projects.
Both Putin and Mirziyoyev praised "resolute and consistent actions of the Kazakh leadership” as well as the “timely and effective assistance through the CSTO” that led to an early settlement of the crisis in Kazakhstan.
The presidents also considered the implementation of the bilateral projects "in the interests of further strengthening the strategic partnership and alliance between Russia and Uzbekistan."
On Jan. 2, protests broke out in Kazakhstan over a rise in liquefied petroleum gas prices (LPG) in the city of Zhanaozen in Mangystau, which later turned into clashes with the police, with the most violent developments in Kazakhstan's former capital Almaty.
Tokayev requested help from the CSTO allies and in a short period, peacekeepers from Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Tajikistan arrived, and backed the Kazakh law enforcement in restoring order.