Kremlin monitoring situation in Kazakhstan, warns against outside interference

The Kremlin on Wednesday said it is monitoring the situation in Kazakhstan and warned against outside interference after the country's government resigned in response to violent protests in the capital.

"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," Russia's foreign ministry said, according to Reuters.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Kazakhstan could handle its own problems and that the country, a former member of the Soviet Union, has so far not requested help from Russia.

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Reuters noted that Russia is sensitive to the goings-on of former Soviet nations that it regards as within its sphere of influence.

The foreign ministry appeared to place its support behind Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his efforts to "to stabilize the situation and resolve existing problems quickly, including those contained in the legitimate demands of the protesters."

Protesters led a fiery march through the Kazakh city of Almaty on Wednesday in response to spiking fuel prices as well as former President Nursultan Nazarbayev's decades-long hold on power in the country. Hundreds of civilians have been injured in the protests, according to city officials.

Tokayev announced on Wednesday that he has removed Nazarbayev from his position as head of Kazakhstan's Security Council and appointed an acting prime minister as he works to reduce fuel prices.