Ukraine: Kazakh President promises to protect Russians fleeing mobilization
The Kazakh President assured Tuesday that his country will protect Russians fleeing to Kazakhstan to escape the ongoing military mobilization in Russia to send reinforcements to fight in Ukraine.
“In recent days, many people come to us from Russia. Most are forced to leave because of a no-win situation,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.
“We must take care of them, ensure their safety,” added this ally of Moscow, but who has distanced himself from the Kremlin since the Russian offensive in Ukraine.
The President also once again condemned the conflict in Ukraine, and called for respect for territorial integrity as Russia holds so-called referendums in four Ukrainian regions to annex them.
“The territorial integrity of a State must be inalienable, it is a key principle”, he recalled.
“In our immediate vicinity a major war is underway. We must remember this, thinking above all of our security,” added Mr. Tokayev.
Allied with Russia and in particular a member of an economic and customs union, Kazakhstan, a former Central Asian Soviet Union, however, also cultivates good relations with the West and China.
Moscow's offensive against Ukraine has aroused among some Kazakhs the fear of also becoming the target of the ambitions Russians, particularly because of its long border with Russia and its large ethnic Russian minority.
In the Caucasus, on the border with Georgia, the authorities of the Russian region of North Ossetia have admitted a “tense situation” at the Verkhni Lars checkpoint.
The local Interior Ministry announced the “soon to be set up of a military mobilization commissariat” to recruit reservists who are trying to to leave.