Kazakhstan’s President Talks about Damage During Unrest in the Country

The damage may reach $2-3 billion, he said

According to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, the total amount of losses the country has taken may reach about $2-3 billion. Tokayev mentioned these figures while meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel, the Akorda press service reported.

As the president’s press service reports, the two sides discussed the domestic situation in Kazakhstan and perspectives of strategic cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union.

«Violence by terrorists caused many casualties among law enforcement officers and civilians; about 1,300 businesses have suffered, more than 100 shopping centers and banks were looted; 500 police vehicles were burnt. According to estimates by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the preliminary economic losses of Kazakhstan may reach $2-3 billion,» the press service reported in the statement.

Tokayev also provided a clear explanation of the CSTO forces’ presence in the country.

«I’d like to highlight that these forces do not participate in military operations. Their main task is guarding strategic facilities in Almaty and the capital of the country. These additional foreign forces have allowed Kazakhstan law enforcement agencies to regroup and conduct an anti-terrorist operation,» the president said.

On January 2, people took to the streets in the town of Zhanaozen (the Mangystau region) after a sharp increase of liquid gas prices in the West region of the country. Later these local protests turned into nationwide protests with economic and political demands.

On January 4-5, the police reported clashes with protesters in Almaty. The authorities declared a state of emergency.

On Wednesday, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev informed the public that he had asked CSTO for help in dealing with the terrorist threat in the country.

On January 8, Tokayev said that thanks to the CSTO forces in Nur-Sultan, the government has been able to regroup law enforcement personnel and send them to Almaty where they have been performing anti-terrorist operations.

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