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S&P: Azerbaijan to keep manat rate stable in 2021

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In 2021, Azerbaijan will retain the manat's de facto peg to the US dollar at 1.7 manats to $1, supported by the authorities' regular interventions in the foreign currency market.

Report informs citing an article of S&P Global Ratings on the sovereign ratings of Azerbaijan.

"Last year, the CBA's [Central Bank of Azerbaijan] scheduled and extraordinary foreign exchange auctions with the participation of SOFAZ [State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan] ensured sufficient supply of foreign exchange, and lower import bills during the April-May period reduced the demand for the hard currency," the S&P article reads.

In S&P's view, should hydrocarbon prices remain low for a prolonged period, the authorities could allow the exchange rate to adjust to avoid a similar substantial loss of foreign currency buffers as in 2015.

In the 2021 state budget, the oil price is set at the level of $40. Since the beginning of the year, the black gold's price has exceeded $50 per barrel on world markets. It ensures the flow of additional resources from the hydrocarbon exports to the state budget and the State Oil Fund.

In 2020, the State Oil Fund at foreign exchange auctions sold over $7.3 billion (10.7% more than 2019). In 2019, the Oil Fund sold $6.59 billion at foreign exchange auctions (2.1% more than 2018).

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Ukraine leaves CIS mobile communication system

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Ukraine has withdrawn from the CIS agreement on mobile cooperation, the representative of the Cabinet of Ministers in the parliament, Vasyl Mokan, said on his Facebook page.

At the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on March 3, the draft CIS law "On withdrawal from the Agreement on cooperation in the development and use of mobile communications systems" was discussed. The government supported the project.

On November 9, 2016, a bill on the country's withdrawal from the CIS was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

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FAO: Global food prices sharply risen over past 8 months

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International food prices rose 14.3% in January 2021 compared to December 2020, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Global food prices not only rose over the past eight months but also reached their highest monthly growth rate since July 2014, the FAO Partnership and Liaison Office in Azerbaijan told Report.

Global grain consumption is projected to reach 52 million tonnes in 2020/21, which indicates an increase of 2,761 million tonnes compared to the previous season.

Global wheat and rice consumption is projected to grow 0.7% and 1.8%, respectively, over the year. Also, the world grain stocks are expected to decrease by 2.2% to 801 million tons, which is the lowest in the last five years.

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French politician: Armenian people should know truth about Khojaly

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“There is a large Armenian community in France, and this fact places a huge responsibility on the country to restore peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Finally, France must understand its responsibility as a UN member and a friend of Azerbaijan and move on to action,” Laurent Poultier du Mesnil, vice-president of the France-Azerbaijan Dialogue Association (ADFA), told the French Service of Report.

According to him, as a UN member, France should start an investigation to study the truth about Khojaly events.

“Until now, France has failed to play its role. France could also play a part in resolving the Karabakh conflict but missed this chance. At the very least, now France must show commitment and start an international investigation to study the Khojaly tragedy. We turned to French President Emmanuel Macron. A tragedy has occurred in Khojaly, France must begin to look into it closely,” Laurent Poultier du Mesnil said.

He noted the importance of delivering information about the Khojaly tragedy to everyone, including the Armenian people.

“The Armenian people must know the truth to restore peace. Armenians must understand that the Armenian army and its leaders committed a massacre against the Azerbaijani people. When everyone knows the truth, peace will be achieved. Everyone, including the Armenian people, should finally be aware of the heavy losses and damage inflicted on the Azerbaijani people for a long time,” he added.

“When hearing about the attempted coup in Armenia, I felt great concern. I thought that this might be an attempt to reignite the conflict,” he said.

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