Russia slams 'boorish' US comments on Kazakhstan
Russia on Saturday slammed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as "boorish" for saying Kazakhstan will be saddled with Russian presence after asking Moscow to send in troops to quell unrest.
"US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to make a funny joke today about the tragic events in Kazakhstan," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement on Facebook.
"A boorish attempt, but then again not his first one," it said, adding that Blinken "ridiculed a totally legitimate response" of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a military alliance led by Russia.
Kazakhstan appealed for help from the CSTO to quell unprecedented protests sparked by fuel prices that broke out across the Central Asian country earlier this week.
It is not clear how many troops are being sent in the force - which includes units from ex-Soviet states Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan - but media in Moscow have said the Russian contingent is expected to number less than 5,000.
"I think one lesson in recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it's sometimes very difficult to get them to leave," Blinken told reporters on Friday.
"If Antony Blinken is so into history lessons, here's one that comes to mind: When Americans are in your house, it can be difficult to stay alive, not being robbed or raped," the foreign ministry said.
It mentioned "unfortunate peoples who had the bad luck to see these uninvited guests at their doorstep" - naming Native Americans, Koreans, Vietnamese and Syrians among others.
Russia intervened in Syria on the side of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in September 2015.