Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his counterpart from Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in the capital Moscow on Thursday.

Referring to the January unrest in Kazakhstan, Putin said the Central Asian country “fell victim to some international groups that took advantage of the current difficult situation in the country.”

Noting that Tokayev now faces a challenge of repairing the damage caused by the unrest, he said that Kazakhstan can use the “economic potential of cooperation with Russia.”

Russia is Kazakhstan’s biggest trade partner, with two countries celebrating 30 years of establishment of diplomatic relations, he said.

For his part, Tokayev thanked Putin for the support and said that an investigation into the January events is currently ongoing in Kazakhstan.

“Indeed, it was a carefully prepared operation of international terrorists and bandits who attacked Kazakhstan with the aim, first of all, to undermine the constitutional order and, of course, to commit a coup d’etat,” he said.

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