Blinken Warns Kazakhstan Against Inviting Russian Troops

Sees no need for outside assistance

Kazakhstan continues to be torn by violent, nationwide protests. Faced with widespread looting, the Kazakhs are turning to neighboring Russia for troops to help restore order. This is where the United States decides to get vocally involved, warning Kazakhstan not to invite Russia.

Secretary of State Tony Blinken cautioned that the Kazakhs would struggle to get the Russians to leave once they arrive, adding that he doesn’t see the need for outside help at all.

The United States is not the most credible nation to make that case, not so far removed from Iraq’s parliament unanimously asking the US to leave, only to be openly spurned and condemned for even asking.

The situation in Kazakhstan is different, with the nation inviting troops under the terms of the CSTO. Russia and Kazakhstan have historical ties dating to the early 18th century, suggesting Kazakh officials know very well what they’re getting into.

As far as the need, the Kazakh security forces have been trying to crack down on protests and looters, and so far not successfully. The Kazakh government clearly hopes international forces can calm things down a bit.

The US reaction is that it’s Russia so it’s heavy-handed and unjustified. While this is a standard reaction in the US-Russia rivalry, what’s happening in Kazakhstan hardly seems out of the ordinary for nations struggling with stability, and it is not surprising that the Kazakhs turned to a treaty partner in that case.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.