YEREVAN — Armenia’s Defense Minister Suren Papikyan, who is also Secretary of the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) Defense Ministers Council (for the period of Armenia’s rotating chairmanship in the CSTO) had a telephone conversation with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Monday, the press service of the Armenian Defense Ministry reported.

It said during the conversation, the two men discussed the situation in Kazakhstan, including the implementation of decisions of the Collective Security Council and the CSTO Defense Ministers Council, as well as the activities of the CSTO collective peacekeeping forces deployed in Kazakhstan.

On January 2, protests erupted in Kazakhstan over a sharp rise in the price of liquefied gas, which swiftly escalated into violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers. The government resigned amidst the unrest. A state of emergency was introduced throughout the country.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev dismissed ex-president Nursultan Nazarbayev as head of the Council of the Republic. On the same day, Tokayev asked his CSTO partners for support. On January 6, a contingent of the CSTO collective peacekeeping forces composed of the armed forces of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were sent to Kazakhstan. According to official reports, 164 people were killed during the turmoil in Kazakhstan, including a 4-year-old girl.

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