Who benefits most from tensions in Kazakhstan?

TEHRAN, Jan. 08 (MNA) – Tensions in Kazakhstan continue as the country's main cities have been the scene of clashes between protesters and government forces, and with the intervention of the CSTO forces, it is taking on an international dimension.

Protests began in Kazakhstan on Sunday after a price hike on liquid petroleum gas (LPG). LPG is widely used to fuel cars in the west of the country.

Dozens of people have been killed in clashes on the streets, with rioters torching and ransacking public buildings in several cities in the worst violence in Kazakhstan’s 30 years of independence following the disintegration of the former Soviet Union.

Although a significant part of these protests is rooted in domestic dissatisfaction with the economic situation, the role of foreign actors in intensifying the protests cannot be ignored. Especially since Kazakhstan has witnessed such protests in the past, albeit to a lesser extent.

The unrest prompted Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who accused foreign-trained "terrorist groups" of being behind the unrest, to appeal for help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) — a military alliance made up of Russia and five other former Soviet states — to quell the protests. 

Amid widespread unrest in Kazakhstan, the secretary-general of CSTO announced the deployment of its forces to monitor the situation and protect the country's vital infrastructure. At the direct request of the President of Kazakhstan, the CSTO decided to send peacekeepers to the country, and this was a perfectly legal action based on the members' compliance with their obligations.

Under the charter of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Member States shall coordinate and unite their efforts at struggle with international terrorism and extremism, illicit trafficking of drugs and psychotropic substances, weapons, organized transnational crime, illegal migration, and other menaces to the safety of the Member States.

The Member States shall take measures to the creation and getting function within the framework of the Organization of the system of response to crisis situations menacing to safety, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Member States.

Who benefits most from tensions in Kazakhstan?

At present, some believe that the developments in Kazakhstan are against Russia and are in line with the demands and goals of the West. There is no doubt that the West has been dissatisfied with Eurasianism and Kazakhstan's proximity to Russia over the years.

The unrest in Kazakhstan is seen by some analysts as an attempt by foreign parties to provoke “Color Revolutions” in the ex-Soviet country, modeled on the “Rose Revolution” in Georgia and the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine, which Russia has blamed on the West.

Perhaps one of the most important questions about what happened in Kazakhstan is the rapid pace of these developments which apparently began in protest of rising fuel prices, but today no one talks about fuel and its prices! One possible answer to this question goes back to the long-standing enmity and rivalry between Russia and the United States. 

The two countries are challenging each other in different areas and they certainly do not miss any opportunity to hit each other. No one forgets the Color Revolutions in small countries close to Russia, and no one denies the role of the United States in these coups, except that this time the excuse for these developments is not elections but livelihoods and the economy.

Some consider the developments in Ukraine alongside the developments in Kazakhstan. They consider these two countries as two points where the West, led by the United States, is trying to pressure Russia to take advantage. 

It is the best time for the West to distract Russia from Ukraine and create a new and more important front for the Russians, this time on Russia's southern border.

Besides, the fact should not be forgotten that any unrest in Kazakhstan and in the region not only will put pressure on Russia but also will affect China's ambitious "One  Belt One Road" initiative.

Let's wait and see what is going on in Kazakhstan, but it is likely that the United States and the European Union will seize the opportunity to impose sanctions on Kazakhstan and Russia under this new excuse to weaken both countries' economies in line with their long term goals and plans for the region. 

ZZ/

News Code 182650

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