Astana police department switches to high alert before SCO summit

The General News department correspondent
The deputy internal affairs minister has revealed what security measures will be applied in the capital city of Kazakhstan during the SCO summit / Collage by, photo editor: Arthur Aleskerov

According to Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan Marat Kozhayev, the Astana police department is going to stay on high alert due to the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Astana.

Commenting on a question about security measures, the official said that the Astana police department isn’t inventing anything new and is simply following the best international practices in this sphere.

«Astana will be a venue for a grandiose political event, which is going to be very important from a geopolitical point of view. This is why we are taking so many security measures. This is not something invented by Kazakhstan; this is the international best practice. Everything we do, we do to ensure our people are safe and free from unnecessary inconveniences. For example, we are informing the public about routes our high guests and big delegations are going to use long ahead to avoid possible hurdles,» the deputy minister said.

As Kozhayev noted, police have already taken several institutions of strategic importance under protection and established roadblocks around the capital city. He underlined that Kazakhstanis can travel to Astana with no restrictions, though.

«Because of some events that happened in several neighboring states recently, we are going to send police squads closer to religious and other facilities. In general, from 6,000 to 8,000 police officers will be deployed in Astana during the event,» the deputy minister said.

Some journalists were also curious about whether the government was going to remove homeless people from the capital city.

«No. In this case, this measure won’t be applied. All our citizens can travel across the entire country with no restrictions,» Kozhayev highlighted.

In turn, the Astana mayor’s office has advised public organizations and quasi-state companies to send at least 70% of their employees to work from home from July 2 to July 4, due to the SCO summit in Astana.

«From July 3 to July 4, there will be the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Astana. As the police will enhance their security measures, we are recommending that public organizations and quasi-state companies send 70% of their personnel to work from home from July 2 to July 4. This will help to reduce traffic and inconveniences for people,» the city’s administration said in a statement.

Moreover, authorities have instructed kindergartens to stay closed during the SCO summit.

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