Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, said on Wednesday that Kazakhstan could manage its own problems and that no foreign interference was needed, according to the RIA news agency.
It reported Peskov as adding that Kazakhstan had not asked Russian assistance in dealing with demonstrations sparked by a fuel price hike, which led to the government’s departure on Wednesday.
Russia is particularly sensitive to upheaval in former Soviet republics it considers to be within its sphere of influence, and has accused the West of fomenting revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine in the past.
Russia’s foreign ministry said it was closely monitoring the situation in its southern neighbor and counting on the “soonest possible normalization”.
“We advocate the peaceful resolution of all problems within the constitutional and legal framework and dialogue, rather than through street riots and the violation of laws,” it said.
It said this was precisely the aim of the steps taken by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev “to stabilize the situation and resolve existing problems quickly, including those contained in the legitimate demands of the protesters.”
This appeared to refer to Tokayev’s decision to reverse the New Year fuel price increase that first triggered protests in the west of the country.
The Russian statement used more cautious language than Tokayev, who has blamed the violence on domestic and foreign provocateurs.