Tue. May 24th, 2022

The events in Kazakhstan shocked the country and the world (“Crackdown fails to scare off Kazakh protesters”, Report, January 15).

When protesters took to the streets in western Kazakhstan to express their grievances regarding gas prices, the government immediately entered into a dialogue with the protesters. After discussions, gas prices were reduced and measures to regulate the gas price were introduced. The demands of the protesters were met.

Tragically, protests in other regions, including our largest city, Almaty, have turned violent. Riots and looting became widespread. Government and private buildings were set on fire.

When the rioters attacked military and administrative facilities and seized the Almaty airport, it became clear that the country was dealing with a well-organized terrorist attack. Attackers knew all too well where to get weapons and seized numerous firearms, including in police stations and gun shops. They killed numerous police and civilians. Authorities concluded that Kazakhstan was facing a coup attempt.

It was the darkest moment in Kazakhstan’s modern history, but it will not define us.

There is an ongoing investigation into the tragic events. Its findings will be shared publicly and transparently.

In response to the grievances of the initial peaceful protesters, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced programs to address the issues of inequality and economic inequality in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan’s economy recovers after the pandemic. We expect economic growth of 3.7 percent this year. President Tokayev stressed that all our citizens must reap the benefits of this growth.

The Kazakh government will not deviate from the path of democratic development and sincere dialogue with civil society, and will continue to support the right of citizens to protest peacefully.

We are grateful for the support of the Collective Security Treaty Organization peace contingent that began withdrawing from Kazakhstan today. We will continue to develop close cooperation with all friends and partners, including the UK, the EU and the US. Kazakhstan will maintain favorable conditions for foreign investment.

Kazakhstan will recover and emerge even stronger and more united from this crisis.

Erlan Idrissov
Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK
London SW1, United Kingdom

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