Details added (first version posted on 15:39)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.23
Obviously, the decrease in Azerbaijan's oil revenues negatively affected the country's national currency, President Ilham Aliyev said Dec.23, during the ceremony of awarding athletes and sports experts.
The main reason for changing the exchange rate of manat is the threefold decline in oil prices, said the president, adding that changing manat's exchange rate was inevitable.
"Throughout the year, we were trying to maximally prevent it and were waiting for the oil prices to stabilize," said Aliyev.
"When the oil prices stabilized at $50, we somehow calmed down that there will be no need for devaluation," said the president.
However, currently, the oil price is $36, said Aliyev, adding that the latest decision made by the US on dollar triggers decrease in oil prices.
There are also other geopolitical factors here, he said.
"Personally, I believe that the sharp decline in oil prices has no natural economic grounds," said Aliyev.
The president went on to add that global economy is undergoing a recession, but not to such an extent that the oil prices would have fallen thrice at once during the year.
"I personally believe that it is a thought out policy," said President Ilham Aliyev.
"The purpose of this policy is not a secret for anyone," he said, adding that Azerbaijan suffers from this situation. "Nevertheless, we will surely try to reduce the consequences of this situation to a minimum."
The president said that the government is tasked to maintain macroeconomic stability and inflation at a minimum level, keep prices for domestically produced food products and construction materials, as well as fuel prices at a stable level.
"The government of Azerbaijan will try to minimize the negative consequences of this inevitable decision," said Ilham Aliyev. "Those who allow artificial overpricing and speculation will be punished."