EU to discuss events in Kazakhstan
European foreign ministers will this week discuss possible measures to respond to the crackdown against anti-government protests in Kazakhstan over the past week, a French minister said on Sunday, News.Az reports citing Reuters.
"(They will discuss) measures which Europe could take to send a message: that you cannot crush a people, protesters, rebelling against the cost of living," European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune told CNEWS.
Kazakhstan's government announced late Jan. 4 that it was restoring some price caps on liquefied petroleum gas, after the rare protests reached Almaty following a sharp rise in the price of the fuel at the start of the year.
Many Kazakhs have converted their cars to run on LPG, which is far cheaper than gasoline as a vehicle fuel in Kazakhstan because of price caps. But the government argued that the low price was unsustainable and lifted the caps on Jan. 1.
After the price of the fuel spiked, big demonstrations erupted on Jan. 2 in certain parts of the country. Public protests are illegal in the country unless their organizers file a notice in advance.
Following the development of the situation, the government declared a state of emergency all over the country. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the government initiated anti-terrorist operations to deal with the ongoing riots.
Also, the divisions of the united peacekeeping contingent of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) arrived in Kazakhstan to assist in restoring order and help protect strategic objects of the country.