Military amalgam of six ex-Soviet countries will send "peacekeeping forces" to Kazakhstan where it says the unrest was caused by "outside interference."
The Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) of six ex-Soviet countries will send "peacekeeping forces" to unrest-hit Kazakhstan, the alliance's chairman has said.
The chairman, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, said on Thursday that the CSTO had decided to send "collective peacekeeping forces" to the ex-Soviet country "for a limited period of time in order to stabilise and normalise the situation in this country" that was caused by "outside interference".
Kazakhstan seeks help in dealing with 'terrorist threat'
Earlier, Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said his country was under attack from "terrorists" and appealed to a Russia-led military alliance for help, after mass protests plunged the nation into chaos.
Long seen as one the most stable of the ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia, energy-rich Kazakhstan was facing its biggest crisis in decades after protesters angry over rising fuel prices stormed government buildings.
President Tokayev said he had appealed CSTO, which includes five other ex-Soviet states, to combat what he called "terrorist groups" that he claimed "received extensive training abroad".
"They are seizing buildings and infrastructure and, most importantly, are seizing the premises where small arms are located," he said in an address to the nation early Thursday.
He added that they had also commandeered five planes at the airport in the country's biggest city Almaty and said that Kazakhstan's air forces were engaged in a "stubborn battle" near the city.
"I intend to act as tough as possible... Together we will overcome this black period in the history of Kazakhstan," he said.
Protests spread across the nation of 19 million this week in outrage over a New Year increase in prices for liquid petroleum gas, which is widely used to fuel cars in the west of the country.
Thousands took to the streets in Almaty and in the western province of Mangystau, saying the price rise was unfair given oil and gas exporter Kazakhstan's vast energy reserves.