U.S. questions Russia-led peacekeeping troops in Kazakhstan

by mcardinal


The United States is closely monitoring reports that peacekeeping forces of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization have been deployed to Kazakhstan and has questions about whether they were legitimately invited to the country, the White House said on Thursday.

Fresh violence erupted in Kazakhstan’s main city after Russia rushed in paratroopers to put down a countrywide uprising in one of Moscow’s closest former Soviet allies.

The general secretary of the bloc told RIA news agency that the overall peacekeeping force would number about 2,500 and could be strengthened if necessary.

“We’re closely monitoring reports that the Collective Security Treaty Organization have dispatched its collective peacekeeping forces to Kazakhstan,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a news briefing.

“We have questions about the nature of this request and whether it was a legitimate invitation or not. We don’t know at this point.”

Washington would be watching for any violations of human rights and “any actions that may lay the predicate for the seizure of Kazakh institutions,” she said.

Earlier Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi regarding the ongoing state of emergency in Kazakhstan.

“The Secretary reiterated the United States’ full support for Kazakhstan’s constitutional institutions and media freedom and advocated for a peaceful, rights-respecting resolution to the crisis,” the State Department said in a statement.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Simon Lewis, Jeff Mason and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Richard Chang)

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