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Withdrawal of CSTO peacekeepers from Kazakhstan to be completed by January 19

The collective peacekeeping forces of the CSTO will be withdrawn from Kazakhstan until January 19 inclusive, Russian Defense Minister, Army General Sergei Shoigu reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin, TASS reports.

He said 14 Russian planes will withdraw all the forces of the colleagues from Armenia, Tajikistan, Belarus tomorrow. The Kyrgyz colleagues will withdraw on their own within five days.

According to the Russian minister, the CSTO peacekeepers in Kazakhstan undertook the protection of 14 objects of strategic importance.

“We have taken under protection 14 objects of strategic importance to date: these include communications, energy, objects that are responsible for the vital activity of the country. At the request of the leadership of Kazakhstan, and upon your instruction, we took under protection a number of other facilities, which also pose a serious threat in the event of seizure by terrorists,” Shoigu said.

The introduction of the CSTO peacekeepers into Kazakhstan made it possible to release about 1.6 thousand employees of the republic’s security forces for other tasks, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry said.

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