In the wake of massive nationwide protests against sharp liquified natural gas (LNG) price rises which approximately doubled the cost of the fuel overnight, the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, a group which runs Kazakhstan's main crude oil blend to export terminals, said on Thursday it was continuing to operate normally amid the state of emergency in the central Asian country.
The protests have turned savagely violent, with a number of policemen killed and scores of government buildings set alight. Neighboring Russia is so alarmed that a fellow authoritarian country is experiencing instability that it is sending in troops to help quell the violence in accordance with a collective security treaty involving six post Soviet states. The treaty stipulates that aggression against any one signatory of the treaty would be perceived as an aggression against all. Thus when protests erupted in Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, the country’s president, knew to call Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
Tokayev has declared a state of emergency in Almaty and the Mangystau region. In a video address, Tokayev called for dialogue, saying the government would address the protesters' legitimate demands but warned it would not fall. "Calls to attack government and military offices are absolutely illegal," Tokayev said. "The government will not fall, but we want mutual trust and dialogue rather than conflict." He said the government would hold a working meeting Wednesday to discuss the issues raised by the protesters.