Putin Says Moscow-Led Forces in Kazakhstan for ‘Limited’ Time

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that a Moscow-led military detachment deployed to counter unrest in Kazakhstan would remain in the Central Asian country for only a “limited” period.

“A contingent of CSTO peacekeeping forces has been sent to Kazakhstan — and I want to emphasize this — for a limited time period,” Putin said during a meeting of leaders from ex-Soviet countries, referring to a military pact among their nations.

Ex-Soviet Kazakhstan has been left reeling in the wake of unprecedented unrest that erupted earlier this month in the midst of protests over a fuel price hike in the west of the country.

Dozens are believed to have been left dead in the violence and the interior ministry said Monday that nearly 8,000 people had been detained by security forces.

Putin said the Collective Security Treaty Organisation had dispatched troops following the request of Kazakhstan’s president because the country was facing the “aggression of international terrorism.”

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said during the meeting that the CSTO had dispatched 2,030 troops and 250 pieces of hardware.

The Russian president added during the meeting that the deployment of troops from former Soviet countries had sent a signal that leaders there would not allow “revolutions” to erupt within ex-Soviet countries.

“The measures taken by the CSTO made it clear that we would not let anyone destabilize the situation at our home and implement so-called colour revolution scenarios,” Putin added.

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