0718 GMT January 20, 2022
The Kazakh ambassador in Iran said that peace and stability have returned to his country, adding that over 9,000 people were detained by police during protests that descended into violence last week.
Speaking at a press conference on recent developments in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Askhat Orazbay noted that in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, protesters stormed and briefly seized the airport and some important offices.
The demonstrations began on January 2 over a near-doubling of prices for a type of vehicle fuel and quickly spread across the country, apparently reflecting wider discontent with the government.
Orazbay said following talks with protesters, the government announced a 180-day price cap on vehicle fuel and a moratorium on utility rate increases.
The authorities of Kazakhstan declared a state of emergency over the unrest, and President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of six former Soviet states.
The group which sent about 2,030 troops to Kazakhstan as peacekeepers will leave the country by January 23, as normal life has returned to Kazakhstan.
Tokayev on Monday described the events of last week as a “terrorist aggression” against the country and dismissed reports of the authorities fighting peaceful demonstrators as “disinformation.”
The Kazakh ambassador noted that evidence indicates that there were trained terrorists among protesters which caused lots of destruction.
“The main purpose of these terrorists was to carry out armed operations to overthrow the constitutional-based government of Kazakhstan,” Orazbay added.
The Kazakh diplomat said that weapons were used just to counter armed terrorists and that protesters who were protesting peacefully had never been shot.
Tokayev on Tuesday delivered an address at a special session of the Mazhilis (lower chamber of Kazakhstan’s parliament) and elaborated on plans to address damages following the terror attacks at the earliest.
Orazbay said the Kazakh people expect the proposed plans to be completed in a short time, adding that the goal of the new program is to support lower-income groups.
The ambassador said that according to new decisions, Kazakhstan will take every measure possible to restore confidence in domestic and foreign investors and trade partners in Kazakhstan’s economy.
“Within two months, the government and the Chamber of Entrepreneurs will develop a plan to increase the income of the general public and will prepare concrete proposals to reduce poverty in Kazakhstan,” Orazbay said.
“A systemic effort will be made to reduce inflation and ensure the stability of the national currency of Kazakhstan,” the diplomat noted.
The imbalance in the economic development of various regions of Kazakhstan will be addressed by the government, he said, adding that the government has been instructed to prepare a set of measures to level up the regions that are lagging behind economically.
The ambassador said that in order to strengthen national security and efficiently counter all types of threats, the entire national security system will be reorganized, including the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, national security agencies, and intelligence service.