US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized the order issued by the President of Kazakhstan, Kasym-Żomart Tokayev, to shoot the protesters. – I definitely reject this decision. It is wrong and should be withdrawn, he said. Blinken also spoke about the tension on the border between Russia and Ukraine. “It will be difficult to make progress when Russia puts weapons to Ukraine’s temple,” he said, referring to the diplomatic talks between Russia and the US scheduled for Monday.
On January 2, violent protests broke out in Kazakhstan, initially directed against the rise in fuel prices, and then taking on a political, anti-government character. Troops of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, mainly from Russia, were sent to Kazakhstan at the request of President Kasym-Żomart Tokayev on Thursday.
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President Tokayev said in a television address Friday that he had ordered the police and the military to shoot “bandits” without warning. Several thousand people have already been arrested in Kazakhstan. According to the media referring to the Ministry of Health, 164 people died.
Blinken: The order to shoot to kill is incorrect
Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, spoke about the situation in Kazakhstan on Sunday in an interview for ABC. He said that Washington is demanding explanations as to why the Kazakh authorities have asked Russia for help in resolving the domestic protests.
He also criticized Tokayev’s order to shoot the protesters. – I definitely reject this decision. The order to shoot in order to kill is incorrect and should be withdrawn, said the head of US diplomacy.
– I talked to my counterpart in Kazakhstan, the minister of foreign affairs. I made it clear that we expect Kazakhstan to respect the rights of the protesters, to stop violence against them, added Blinken.
Blinken: It’s hard to make progress when Russia puts weapons to Ukraine’s temple
Blinken also spoke about the tension on the border between Russia and Ukraine. He said he did not see any breakthrough during the US-Russia diplomatic talks scheduled for Monday in Geneva. – We will be able to present our proposals. The Russians will do the same (…) and we will see if there are grounds for moving forward – he said.
Progress in the negotiations depends on action by both sides, he said, and expressed hope that it was possible to prevent a new Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said, however, that “it will be difficult to make progress when Russia put weapons to the temple of Ukraine.”
Main photo source: mil.ru