US calls on CSTO peacekeepers to depart Kazakhstan upon request
Despite Russian and Kazakh announcements that the CSTO would withdraw from the protest-hit country soon, the United States calls on the alliance to withdraw when requested.
The United States calls on the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) peacekeeping forces to depart Kazakhstan when requested, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday in a press briefing.
"We call on the CSTO... peacekeeping forces and law enforcement to respect human rights and support a peaceful resolution and, importantly, to depart Kazakhstan when the government of Kazakhstan requested," Price said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the CSTO peacekeepers would remain in Kazakhstan until the situation was back under control and fully stable.
The Kazakh Presidency said Sunday peacekeepers from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of six post-Soviet states, were guarding key assets in protest-hit Kazakhstan.
The US calls to the CSTO come despite Russian President Vladimir Putin announcing earlier that the mission of the Russian-led peacekeeping troops in Kazakhstan would soon come to an end.
He explained that the CSTO has demonstrated its capabilities and ability to act quickly and successfully form an integrated security system for participating countries.
Riots started in Kazakhstan on Tuesday night when thousands of demonstrators took to the street to protest against the surging gas prices in the Central Asian nation. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev then declared a state of emergency in the west of the country and Almaty.
US calls on Kazakhstani government to rescind shoot without warning order
Tokayev had ordered the army to shoot militants without warning, adding, "We are dealing with foreign bandits, and 20,000 terrorists participated in the attack."
The United States is calling on the government of Kazakhstan to rescind its order "in order to protect the citizens and restore order amid ongoing violent unrest, Price said.
"We call on the government [of Kazakhstan] to exercise restraint, including, to rescind the so-called ‘shoot without warning’ order to protect the people of Kazakhstan and to restore order," Price said during a press briefing.