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Possible outcomes of the Kazakhstan protests

Possible outcomes of the Kazakhstan protests

As a country where Russian, American, Chinese and other foreign companies have invested, Kazakhstan cannot address problems by isolating itself or overhauling its multidimensional foreign policy.

A protest over an increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices. Violent clashes with the police. Public buildings on fire. Looting. Those developments in Kazakhstan, an island of stability in Central Asia, shocked the world and turned all eyes to that country.

The protests kicked off on Jan. 2 in Zhanaozen, a city in the Mangystau region home to natural resources, industrial plants and a large population of workers. That the coronavirus pandemic’s negative impact on the population’s socioeconomic standards fueled unrest in Kazakhstan’s western parts, which generates wealth and is known for its tradition of opposition, was not particularly surprising to experts. Indeed, they recalled that similar protests had erupted in 2011, 2015 and 2019.

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