Amid protest, the Kazakh President has called on the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), for help to deal with the protests.
What is the CSTO ?The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is an Russia-dominated security alliance (Russia contributes 50% of its budget) in Eurasia that consists of selected post-Soviet states.
On 15 May 1992, six post-Soviet states belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States: Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan signed the Collective Security Treaty (Tashkent Pact or Tashkent (Uzbekistan) Treaty).
Three other post-Soviet states: Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Georgia signed the pact next year and the treaty took effect in 1994 as a replacement for the Warsaw Pact, 1968.
In 2002, it became the CSTO.
The CSTO has six members today: Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan left the alliance in 1999, 1999 and 2012 respectively.
The organisation is based on the principle of collective security or the idea of "one for all and all for one".
This means that an aggressor against any one state in the organisation is considered to be an aggressor against all other states.
Collective security is also the principle on which NATO, the UN and earlier the League of Nations were founded.
The CSTO has not been very active in recent years though it conducts some joint military exercises and facilitates arms sales between members.
CSTO has also created a peacekeeping force and a rapid-reaction force and the members have pursued a common air defence system.
The headquarters is located in the Russian capital of Moscow.