EU to begin two-day meeting on Kazakhstan

EU foreign affairs ministers will begin a two-day informal meeting today to discuss how best to address the situation in

Kazakh Protests

Photo: EPA

EU foreign affairs ministers will begin a two-day informal meeting today to discuss how best to address the situation in Kazakhstan.

Since widespread unrest unfolded last week in Kazakhstan, the EU has been vocal about their concerns. Several key EU officials have condemned both the Kazakh government and protestors’ use of violence and have called for peace. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has even offered the EU’s help in resolving the conflict.

European officials have signaled that the meeting will aim to find a strong response not just to Kazakhstan’s government decision to suppress protesters, but also the use of deadly force by Russian peacekeepers in cracking down on peaceful protests.

The EU will likely bring sanctions against Kazakhstan. The United Kingdom has already taken action against Kazakh oligarchs, so the EU could follow suit. Given that the EU has not sanctioned Russia over its involvement in Belarus, however, sanctions against Moscow are unlikely. These kinds of sanctions are unlikely to stop the unrest in Kazakhstan but would allow the EU to respond in a manner which impacts members of the Kazakh governmental and political machine in hopes of warding off further crackdowns.

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