Ilham Aliyev: Main issue is to protect Azerbaijani people from possible risks, increase stability in country (UPDATE)

Ilham Aliyev: Main issue is to protect Azerbaijani people from possible risks, increase stability in country (UPDATE)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 24

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Economy has its own laws, and Azerbaijan is part of the world economy, President Ilham Aliyev said in a meeting with staff of the Mingachevir city central hospital.

"The work carried out in Azerbaijan deserve approval, and influential international financial institutions appraise our success," the president said.

"But the processes in the region affect us, and over past few months of the last year, tension on the CIS landscape, in some ways, has affected Azerbaijani economy," said Ilham Aliyev.

He said the main issue is to protect the Azerbaijani people from possible risks, increase stability in the country and protect the people's choice.

"Unfavorable processes in the Middle East, Europe and CIS didn't have negative impact on the work carried out in Azerbaijan," President Aliyev said. "That is because we are able to protect ourselves and our choice."

The president went on to add that as far as the economic sphere is concerned, the unfavorable developments in the region indeed affected Azerbaijan.

The president noted that some days ago there were changes made in the rate of the national currency, manat.

"Back in 2006 we conducted a monetary reform," said the president. "The decision to do so was made in 2005. Our reforms ended with the beginning of 2006. Naturally, the older generation remembers this."

"Until that time, one dollar was equal to 5,000 manat. We equalized manat and dollar, so one manat became one dollar. And for the next ten years manat was growing stronger towards the dollar. In reality it showed the success of our economic reforms," Ilham Aliyev said.

The president went on to add that the ongoing developments in the nearby countries and sharp fall of national currencies of neighboring countries, started, in one way or another, to negatively impact Azerbaijan.

Ilham Aliyev said on top of that, sharp fall of the world oil prices negatively affected Azerbaijan's revenues.

Certainly, gradual appreciation of manat had a negative effect on the development of our economy, said the president.

"Given that a decision was made to slightly cheapen the manat," Ilham Aliyev stressed.

The head of state went on to add that all the structures were instructed to avoid the artificial increase of prices in the country.

"The monitoring is being conducted to locate those who artificially increase prices, and very serious penalties will be applied tomthem," said the president.

He went on to add that in recent years all the major foodstuffs are produced inside Azerbaijan, which is why any increase in prices is out of question.

"Those who will be artificially increasing prices, will be punished by the state," said the president.

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