Tag Archives: Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan: Borrell calls for restraint

Brussels 09.01.2022 Anna van Densky “We are concerned by the violence which has erupted, following peaceful protests, in Kazakhstan, which is an important partner for the European Union, with an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in force, and for the stability of the region” reads the Declaration by High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union on the situation Kazakhstan.(Image: social media).

“We deeply regret the loss of life and strongly condemn the widespread acts of violence. It is important to prevent further escalations, to avoid any incitement to violence, to exercise restraint at all times, and to avoid exploitation of unrest for other purposes.

“We stand ready to provide assistance for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Outside military support should respect the sovereignty and independence of Kazakhstan as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens.

“We urge Kazakhstan’s authorities to uphold their commitments at this challenging time, including respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of their citizens, particularly, the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and of the media”.

More than 160 people were killed and 5,000 arrested in Kazakhstan after the riots that shook Central Asia’s largest country over the past week. The interior ministry, quoted on Sunday, January 9, by local media, said initial estimates put property damage at about 175 million euros ($198m) after the wide-spread violence.

Kazakhstan: CSTO troops to quell protests

Brussels 06.01.2022 Anna van Densky The Collective Security Council of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) approved the decision to send peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, incumbent chair of the Council in 2022, said on Thursday, January 6. (Image: social media).

“In view of the address of President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and considering the threat to national security and sovereignty of the Republic of Kazakhstan, caused in particular by interference from the outside, the CSTO Collective Security Council in accordance with Article 4 of the Collective Security Treaty made the decision to send CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces to the Republic of Kazakhstan for a limited period with the aim of stabilisation and normalisation of the situation in this country,” Pashinyan wrote in Facebook.

On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangystau Region, in southwestern Kazakhstan, protesting against high fuel – liquid gas – prices.

Two days later, the protests engulfed Almaty, in the country’s southeast, where the police used flashbangs to disperse the crowd, as well as other cities, including Atyrau, Aktobe (in the west), Uralsk (in the northwest), Taraz, Shymkent, Kyzylorda (in the south), Karaganda (in the northeast) and even Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan.

The president imposed a two-week state of emergency in the Mangystau Region and in the Almaty Region, as well as the republic’s largest city of Almaty and the capital Nur-Sultan.

On January 5, the head of the state also accepted the government’s resignation, but vowed to keep his grip on power.

Reportedly 353 members of Kazakhstan’s law enforcement were injured in the clashes with protesters in Almaty, 12 were killed, the Khabar-24 TV channel said quoting the Almaty commandant’s office.

According to the TV channel, one of the victims was beheaded. “This proves the terrorist and extremist nature of criminal formations,” the commandant’s office was quoted by national media.

Kazakhstan: killed protesters in morgues

Brussels 06.01.2022 “Dozens” of protesters were killed by police on Wednesday night, 5-6 January, as they tried to seize administrative buildings in Kazakhstan, police said.

“Last night, extremist forces tried to storm administrative buildings, the Almaty city police department, as well as local departments and police stations,” police spokesman Saltanat Azirbek was quoted as saying by the Interfax-Kazakhstan, TASS and Ria Novosti agencies.

!!! WARNING! DISTURBING GRAPHIC!!!

“Dozens of assailants have been eliminated and their identities are being identified,” he added.

Azirbek said an “anti-terrorist” operation was underway in one of the districts of Almaty, the economic capital of the Central Asian country, where the riots were most violent.

The announcement comes after the arrival in the country of peacekeeping troops from a Russian-led military alliance (Collective Security Treaty Organization -CSTO) following a request from the President Tokayev as anti-government protests continued.

Demonstrations across Kazakhstan started on Sunday, January 2, over a near-doubling of liquid gas prices widely used for cars, but have since grown to include other grievances including poor living conditions in some areas, as well as 30 years under the rule of the same party since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Kazakhstan: President Tokayev vows to stay

Brussels 06.01.2022 Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his televised address to the nation vowed to stay in the capital no matter what as it is his duty under the Constitution to be together with the people.
“No matter what, I will stay in the capital. This is my duty under the Constitution to be together with the people. We will overcome this dark period in Kazakhstan’s history. We will come out of it being strong,” Tokayev said.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that he remains committed to consistent reforms and will soon present proposals for the political transformation of the country.

“Soon I will present new proposals for the political transformation of Kazakhstan. I maintain the same position of consistent reforms,” he said.

Kazakhstan has been engulfed by protests for the fourth day in a row. The protests flared up on January 2 in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangystau Region, in southwestern Kazakhstan, and then swept across other centers.

The President imposed a two-week state of emergency in the Mangystau Region and in the Almaty Region, as well as the republic’s largest city of Almaty and the capital Nur-Sultan. On January 5, the head of the state also accepted the government’s resignation.

The demands of the crowds are sounding increasingly political, according to reports from the region.
However they began with something very pointed: the price of liquified petroleum gas, or LPG, the fuel that many use to power their cars.

Kazakhstan in state of emergency

Brussels 06.01.2022 The law-enforcement personnel have launched a special counter-terror operation in Almaty where chaos and looting continues, the Almaty commandant’s office reported on Wednesday, January 5. (Image: social media).

“A special counter-terror operation has been launched in the city to establish order,” the statement reads.

The commandant’s office also called on Almaty residents “to remain calm and render assistance to the law-enforcement agencies in establishing the Constitutional order and public security.”

As the statement says, “radically-minded supporters of riots have caused huge damage to the city, put up resistance to the legitimate actions of law-enforcement agencies for establishing order and providing security.”

The commandant’s office also reported that “the extremists are on a looting spree, causing damage to business.” Moreover, “they are endangering the lives and health of civilians, obstructing the work of medical workers and causing damage to polyclinics and hospitals.”

“Bandits who are on the rampage in Almaty are highly organised, which is evidence that they were seriously trained abroad” and “their attack on Kazakhstan is an act of aggression and an attempt to disrupt the state’s integrity,” the text continues.

Protests have been raging in Kazakhstan for the fourth day in a row. On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangistau region in the country’s southwest, protesting against fuel price hikes.

Two days later, riots erupted in Almaty where police used stun grenades to disperse crowds and also in other cities, in particular, in Atyrau and Aktobe, Uralsk, Taraz, Shymkent and Kyzylorda, Karaganda and in the capital of Nur-Sultan.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev earlier declared a state of emergency in the Mangistau and Almaty regions and also in Almaty and Nur-Sultan for two weeks. After that, a state of emergency was declared on the entire territory of Kazakhstan. On January 5, the head of the Kazakh state dismissed the government.

Its members continue discharging their duties until a new Cabinet is approved.

EU-Central Asia Security Dialogue

Brussels 01.07.2021 The eighth High-Level Political and Security Dialogue between the European Union and the countries of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – took place on Thursday, July 1, in Tashkent, with the participation of Afghanistan as special guest.

The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss regional dynamics and advance region-to-region cooperation on a broad spectrum of issues, including border management, security and the promotion of sustainable connectivity.

The EU welcomed the upcoming conference on Central Asia-South Asia connectivity to be held on 15-16 July in Tashkent, which would provide space for reiterating international support to initiatives aimed at linking up Central Asian states, Afghanistan and their neighbours more closely as a key factor for peace, resilience and prosperity.

Participants expressed their shared concern about resurging violence in Afghanistan and stressed their common determination to continue to work together to promote a genuine and inclusive peace process in the country.

The EU confirmed that the key priorities of its strategy on Central Asia of 2019 would guide the programming of its aid for the budget cycle 2021-2027.

Participants agreed to work together to organise a first EU-Central Asia Economic Forum, EU-Central Asia Conference on Tourism and third EU-Central Asia Civil Society Forum by the end of this year. The EU welcomed the proposal to organise a high-level conference on Connectivity in 2022.

The Dialogue was chaired by EEAS Deputy Secretary-General for political affairs Enrique Mora.

Kazakhstan: Nazarbayev daughter dissimssed

Incumbent Kazakhstan President Qasym-Jomart Toqayev, dismissed the daughter of ex-President Nursultan NazarbayevDarigà from her position of a speaker of the Senate, however the reasons for this decision were not revealed publicly. He also thanked her for “active and fruitful work” in her capacity as a speaker in a Tweet on his official micro blog.

Some analysts perceive it as a clash between two prétendants for presidency, indicating the daughter has never hidden her ambition to become the head of the state, de facto inheriting the position from her father.

According to Kazakhstan political scientist Dosym Satpayev, Tokaev’s decree on the termination of powers of speaker Dariga Nazarbayeva is a reflection of the tension within the country’s political elite, which has been observed since last year.

Because the position of the Senate speaker is important. According to the Constitution, this is the second person after the president. Any personnel changes in this post will always be of great interest,” the Satpayev said to Interfax-Kazakhstan.

According to the expert, this reassignment was most likely agreed upon with the first president of Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev. “The most interesting question will be what position Dariga Nazarbayeva will be offered instead of the post of speaker of the Senate,” the political scientist said.

“The second important question is the question of who will take the place of Dariga Nazarbayeva as the speaker of the Senate,” the political analyst underlined, adding that, in his opinion, this personnel reshuffle is very important precisely from the point of view of the balance of power within the elite. He also suggested that the incumbent President might be willing to see a close ally at his post rather than an ambitious competitor.

The daughter of the first president of Kazakhstan Dariga Nazarbayeva should understand that after her father leaves, no formal positions and powers can guarantee her neither power nor security“, expert Nikita Shatalov wrote in June 2019.

The independent analysts say that they expect first President to leave public scene after his 80 birthday celebrations on July 6. Futher modernisation of Central Asian state is expected from President Tokaev, facing the traditional in Kazakh society challenges of endemic corruption and nepothism.

Kazakhstan is the 113 least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, according to the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International.

Two Kazakhs risk extradition to China

Kazakhstan should not forcibly return two Chinese citizens fleeing Xinjiang or prosecute them for illegal border crossing while their asylum claims are pending, according to Human Rights Watch.

On January 6, 2020, court hearings against the two ethnic Kazakhs, Kaster Musakhanuly and Murager Alimuly, on charges of illegal border crossing began in the eastern town of Zaysan. The hearing was adjourned after only two hours, although dozens of witnesses and supporters had traveled there to testify on their behalf, and the case was postponed to January 21.

If returned to China, the men would almost certainly face detention and a real risk of torture.

“The government should immediately drop charges of illegal border crossing, halt these proceedings, and guarantee that these men will not be sent back to China as long as their refugee claims are pending,” said Laura Mills, Europe and Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Kazakhstan can take this opportunity to demonstrate that, unlike in the past, it is a country that upholds its international legal obligations, respects refugee rights, and won’t return people to risk of torture.”

Kazakhstan elections “tarnished” by violations

“Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Kazakhstan on 9 June 2019 with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev voted into his first term as President. According to the preliminary findings of the internationally-recognised OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, the election offered an important moment for potential political reforms, but it was tarnished by clear violations of fundamental freedoms as well as pressure on critical voices. There were widespread detentions of peaceful protesters on election day” reads the text of the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson statement.

“Overall, the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission recognised that elections were administered efficiently by the Central Electoral Commission, but significant irregularities were observed across the country, including cases of ballot box stuffing, group voting and series of identical signatures on voter lists. The count was also negatively assessed in more than half of observations.

“In the light of the shortcomings reported by the OSCE/ODIHR Mission, we expect Kazakhstan to address these violations, as well as the controlled legal and political electoral framework, as they run counter to the country’s OSCE commitments and international obligations. In the framework of our Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan, the European Union stands ready to further support reforms to strengthen the promotion and protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights, the respect for democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance.”

“We look forward to working with the new President in this regard, as well as to advance EU-Kazakhstan relations more broadly.”

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev leads Kazakhstan

The speaker of the SenateKassym-Jomart Tokayev (65) will become an acting head of state in Kazakhstan until next presidential elections scheduled for December 2020. The shift of power to the speaker has been done in accordance with the Constitution, declared by resigning President Nazarbayev, who ruled the country for three decades.

Tokayev is the very person that we can trust to govern Kazakhstan,” Nazarbayev said. “I know him well. He is an honest, responsible and reliable person.”

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is a career diplomat, and a political scientist, who hold prominent positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ascending to the top, and leading the foreign policy of the country for a decade. He is fluent in Russian, English, and Chinese languages.

As Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, Tokayev was elected in 2008 Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Strong President, authoritative Parliament, accountable Government” said Tokayev , while describing his vision of Kazakh state model.

The appointment of the acting President coincided with the Kazakh traditional spring celebrations of  Nowruz, marking the beginning of a new cycle of life (21 March).

« Older Entries