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Kazakhstan To Cut State Budget Following Sharp Drop In Oil Prices

Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev

Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has ordered the resource-rich Central Asian nation's government to cut spending following a sharp drop in the price of oil.

The presidential press service said in a statement that during an extraordinary government session on March 9, Toqaev stressed that Kazakhstan's government will fulfill all of its obligations, protect jobs, and preserve the stability of financial and currency markets.

Toqaev set up a special group to examine where spending cuts could be made, the statement added, giving no further details.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan's national currency, the tenge, lost 4.5 percent of its value to trade at 382 tenges to the U.S. dollar after Saudi Arabia enacted its biggest cut in its prices in two decades.

The Saudi move on March 8 came after OPEC and its allies failed to reach a deal to reduce the volume of oil production.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Kazakh Service
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