Viorel Cibotaru: Russia pursues global goals in events in Kazakhstan

The events in Kazakhstan should be connected to the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement about the “gifts” made to the former Soviet republics and Russia’s right to claim them back. The situation can lead only to the strengthening of Russia’s position in the region in its attempts to restore its influence within the borders of the former empire,” expert in national and international security Viorel Cibotaru, director of the European Institute for Political Studies, former minister of defense, stated in a public debate staged by IPN.

As to the Kazak President’s statement about the operation against so-called terrorists that served as a pretext for introducing Russian troops, together with military forces of the allies of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the expert said Moldova experienced a similar situation in 1991 – 1992, when constitutional order had to be restored. Tokayev’s assertion about the “antiterrorist operation” was used by the supporters in Russia. Tokayev immediately enjoyed the support of FSB, GRU and all the advisers in Moscow and the CSTO operation was launched.

As regards the character of the military operations in Kazakhstan, the ex-minister of defense said the international legislation on the use of troops abroad is well-defined at UN level. “There is a well-thought-out mechanism that is always discussed, depending on a particular situation. When a mandate for such things is provided, discussions on the smallest details of the mandate are held in the Security Council and these are sometimes heated and sometimes contradictory. In the case of Kazakhstan, there is no mandate. It is pure improvising here. The legal basis that the CSTO tries to work out and to develop apparently corresponds to the minimum criteria of the United Nations, but its application in this case was contrary to all these norms,” stated Viorel Cibotaru.

He noted the request to the CSTO cannot be made in the name of a private individual, even if this is a head of state. In the Russian Federation, Putin is empowered to deploy troops abroad, while in Kirgizstan, Armenia parliamentary consent is needed for the purpose. In Kazakhstan, there were no pieces of military equipment, terrorist detachments or occupied zones. There were only some offenders, groups of citizens who accidentally received guns and they used them. Police operations could have been performed in such a case.

The expert considers the situation was used to set a precedent for the future actions of the Russian Federation. “I’m sure that this element forms part of the Russia’s Federation’s global positioning “menu”. I would refer here to those security guarantees towards the West and the multiple problems in the Asian area,” he stated.

The public debater “Situation in Kazakhstan: Echoes up to Moldova” is the 221st installment of the series “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. IPN’s project is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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