ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — Turkmenistan's president has fired the heads of the country's central bank and its natural gas company in the wake of economic troubles that brought the country's currency down 18.5 percent this year.
President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's orders at a Cabinet session Saturday were reported by the tightly controlled Central Asian country's state media.
The authoritarian leader said "difficult financial and economic circumstances in certain countries directly affect Turkmenistan." That appeared to be a reference to Russia, where the ruble has lost about 45 percent of its value under pressure from falling oil prices and Western sanctions.
Berdymukhamedov ordered the new head of the national gas company to increase exports, which are Turkemenistan's key source of revenue.
Turkmenistan on Jan. 1 devalued the manat from 2.85 to the dollar to 3.5.