April 18. 2024. 10:18

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Kazakhstan reacts following Russian statements targeting NGOs

Kazakhstan reacted on Thursday (29 February) after accusations from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who said that NGOs in Central Asia were allegedly engaged in “anti-Russian activities”.

Shoigu on Tuesday delivered a statement on the occasion of the Special Operations Forces Day at a meeting of the Board of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in Moscow.

The statement in particular notes that the situation in the Central Asian region remains complex.

According to Shoigu, the greatest threat comes from the territory of Afghanistan.

“Over the past year, the number of the ISIS militants increased by 15%” said Shoigu. “Their main goal is to spread radical ideology and conduct subversive activities on the southern borders of the CSTO.”

But he also targeted NGOs in Central Asia.

“In addition, there are over 100 large pro-Western non-governmental organisations with more than 16,000 representative offices and branches operating in the region,” Shoigu said.

He added that against the backdrop of the “special military operation” in Ukraine, these NGOs significantly intensified their anti-Russian activities, allegedly in order to reduce the military-technical, economic and cultural cooperation of the Central Asian countries with the Russian Federation.

“We are taking proactive measures,” Shoigu said regarding NGOs in Central Asian countries.

Kazakh reaction

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Roman Vasilenko spoke out in defense of the NGOs in Kazakhstan.

“As you know, support for the civil sector and support for NGOs are a top priority for the president, for the government and for the Ministry of Culture and Information, which is responsible for this area”, Vassilenko said on Thursday.

He added that there were 18,000 NGOs in Kazakhstan, which in his words “operate in accordance with our legislation and they are a very important part of our society”.

“That is, civil society is supported by the state of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” Vasilenko commented to a KazTAG correspondent following Shoigu’s statement.

KazTAG adds that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan is not aware of any measures on the part of Russia, following Shoigu’s statement that Russia is taking “proactive measures” against NGOs in Central Asia.

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