The foreign ministers of Hungary and Russia agreed on Sunday that the Russian Foreign Ministry would assist with evacuating Hungarians trapped in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Although Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó did not reveal any specifics, he announced that the consulates had already agreed on the technical details. He also expressed hope that he would be able to report good news about the endeavor on Monday.
Hungary has already evacuated two of its citizens from the Central Asian country that has seen mass riots and disturbances over the past week, but there are still seven more who are waiting to leave Kazakhstan. Four of them are still in the epicenter of the Almaty riots, one of which, Péter Sebestyén, told ATV Híradó that they may be able to leave Almaty as early as Monday.
Around one hundred Hungarian citizens reside in Kazakhstan, according to Péter Szijjártó. The Foreign Ministry knows the names of all of them, he said, and they are all in contact with Hungarian diplomatic representation in some way. Most of them, around 70-80, are employed by a large energy company and have not yet asked for help to return home.
Fierce clashes between protesters and security forces have been going on for days in the former Soviet republic, with dozens of deaths occurring after protests over higher liquefied natural gas prices escalated into a nationwide mass movement against the regime. Demonstrators have looted and set fire to several public buildings, and Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has allegedly instructed law enforcement and the army to open fire without warning.