Azerbaijan mulls over closure of several embassies abroad


Azerbaijan will probably close its diplomatic missions in a number of countries, local media reported Wednesday, citing spokesman for the Foreign Ministry.

Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev said “this issue is being seriously considered by the government in order to minimize effects caused by the situation in the global energy market,” according to news agency TREND.

The economy of Azerbaijan has been hit hard by falling oil prices, as the energy-rich ex-Soviet republic mostly relies on oil exports for revenue.

Last week, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an order to recall Azerbaijani diplomats from several countries.

On Dec. 21, Azerbaijan abandoned its currency peg and moved to a floating rate. The manat’s plummet spurred jitters, with major retailers halting business in the country and anxious consumers fearing for their future.

The central bank said it abandoned the currency peg because “falling oil prices and the continuing devaluation of partner countries’ currencies has begun to negatively affect the Azerbaijani economy.”


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