President Tokayev Says He's Now in Charge of Kazakh Security Council, 'Will Stay With the People'
13:03 GMT 05.01.2022 (Updated: 10:48 GMT 06.01.2022)
© Sputnik / Alexei DruzhininPresident of Kazakhstan Kassym Tokayev
© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin/
Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is addressing the nation for a second time since the beginning of nationwide protests triggered by surging gas prices.
President Tokayev said on Wednesday that he is now in charge of the Kazakh Security Council, noting that he will remain in the country's capital city no matter what and "stay with the people".
The country's Security Council was earlier headed by former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Noting that the violent protests had resulted in the killing of law enforcement officers, Tokayev underlined that the authorities intend to act as decisively as possible against offenders in the protests.
"Crowds of bandit elements beat up servicemen, mock them, lead them naked down the street, abuse women, rob shops. The situation threatens the safety of all residents of Almaty", the president said.
Additionally, Tokayev pledged to roll out a new package of proposals in the near future in the wake of the demonstrations.
The Kazakh president also asserted that there is a group of "financially motivated" plotters with a carefully masterminded plan behind the ongoing unrest in the country.
His second address comes as Kazakhstan is being rattled by protests against surging gas prices, with a state of emergency declared in the regions of Almaty and Mangystau, along with the capital city Nur-Sultan. According to estimations by the country's Interior Ministry, over 200 people have been detained during the nationwide protests. More than 100 law enforcement officers and over 50 civilians have been injured so far.
5 January 2022, 11:16 GMT
In his first speech, Tokayev said that "power will not fall", strongly advising against calling to attack civilian and military offices. He also called for "mutual trust and dialogue" rather than conflict.
The ongoing unrest in Kazakhstan has drawn the attention of several members of the global community, among them chairman of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Zbigniew Rau, who called for de-escalation and the start of a dialogue.
Russia has also commented on the situation in Kazakhstan, saying that it believes the country will deal with its problems on its own and underlining the importance of no foreign interference.