Russia, Mongolia foster bilateral cooperation with new nine agreements

MOSCOW, December 14 (Itar-Tass) -- Nine cooperation agreements, including those settling the Mongolian debts and laying down fundamentals of the Dornod Uranium joint venture, were signed in Moscow on Tuesday, on results of negotiations of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Mongolian counterpart Sukhbaatar Batbold.

There is also an intergovernmental agreement on training Mongolian teenagers at Russian educational establishments, a communique on the trade and economic cooperation program for 2011-2015, an action plan aimed to create legal, economic and other conditions for further intensification of trans-boundary and regional cooperation in 2011-2012, and a memorandum on transit of Mongolian cargo through Russia.

The sides signed three memoranda, concerning cooperation in geological survey and mineral development, energy cooperation, and mutual understanding between the Russian Business Council for Cooperation with Mongolia and a similar Mongolian institution.

Putin promised to pay a visit to Mongolia.

“Mongolian Prime Minister Sukhbaatar Batbold thanked [Russia] for the cordial welcome and invited Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to visit Mongolia at any convenient time,” the communique runs. “The invitation was accepted with gratitude, and the time of the visit would be coordinated by diplomats.”

Next year Mongolia will celebrate the 90th anniversary of independence and diplomatic relations with Russia and the 30th anniversary of a joint space flight.

Mongolia supports the soonest Russian accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the communique says.

“The sides will consider the expediency of a free trade agreement for liberalization and broadening of bilateral trade,” the communique runs.

The sides will soon sign an intergovernmental agreement on transit of cargo from Mongolia across Russia and will coordinate the enlargement of the charter capital of the Russian-Mongolian Ulan Bator Railroad at equal shares, which will modernize the company and promote the development of the Mongolian railroad infrastructure.

In addition, the sides will coordinate terms of the participation of the Infrastructural Development Russian-Mongolian joint venture and its partners in the construction of new railroads to be linked to the Ulan-Bator railroad and transit of mining products from Mongolia to the Russian Far Eastern seaports, the communique says.

Besides, it is planned to sign constituent documents of the Dornot Uranium joint venture.

Russia pledged rapid consideration of the Mongolian offer to continue the participation of Russian companies in the Mongolian governmental program, 100,000 Apartments.

The communique pledged regular military exercises of Russia and Mongolia.

“The prime ministers affirm similar or close positions of Russia and Mongolia on topical international and regional problems,” the communique runs. Russia welcomed more active steps of Mongolia on the international scene and reaffirmed its support to the Mongolian plans to join APEC when the enlargement moratorium is lifted. Russia also welcomed the Mongolian wish to play a weightier role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an observer state.

The prime ministers expressed their concern about the escalating inter-Korean tensions. They called on North and South Koreas to resolve any problems with political and diplomatic methods and a dialog based on the mutual account of interests and put the emphasis on the need to resume the six-nation negotiations on the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula.

“Russia expressed the readiness to continue the dialog with Mongolia on nuclear status guarantees in cooperation with other nuclear powers,” the communique runs.

Russia and Mongolia said they would continue humanitarian cooperation, including a larger number of Mongolian students in Russia.

The joint venture, Dornod Uranium, in 160 days, AtomRedMetZoloto Deputy General Director Tigran Khachaturov told Itar-Tass.

An agreement specifying general principles of Dornod Uranium was supplemented with an action plan, which said that the joint venture would start to function in 160 days, he said.

Khachaturov estimated the Mongolian uranium reserves at 30,000 tonnes. The new company “will survey, mine and process uranium,” he said. “We did not discuss the possible turnout because we needed to draft a feasibility study first,” he said.

Batbold said he had discussed the delivery of Russian air defense systems to Mongolia with Putin.

“Apart from modernization of the Mongolian armed forces, we have discussed the delivery of air defense systems,” he said. “Military- technical cooperation will continue.”

The premier singled out the training of Mongolian students at Russian military schools.

He also said he had discussed an enlargement of exports of traditional Mongolian commodities with Putin, and congratulated Russia on being chosen to host 2018 Soccer World Cup.

An intergovernmental agreement has settled Mongolian debts to Russia, which formed in the Soviet period, Putin said.

The debts were settled “on terms most preferential for Mongolian friends,” he remarked.

Russia wrote off 97.8% of the Mongolian debt of $172 million, Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said. He said that Mongolia would pay the remaining debt of $3.8 million in one transfer.

Two Russian-Mongolian joint ventures, Erdenet and MongolRosTsvetMet, may merge and market their stock, Putin said.

“We have discussed the possible merger of the two companies and an IPO,” he said.

“Large-scale modernization of Erdenet and MongolRosTsvetMet is in progress, and I am confident that this process will considerably improve their competitiveness and have a positive effect on the Mongolian economy, whose personnel, resources and technological potential will grow,” Putin said.

The two companies produce almost 20% of Mongolian GDP, while Erdenet provides nearly 40% of the Mongolian national budget.

Putin also said that Russia would rapidly enlarge capitalization of the Ulan Bator Railroads Company, without waiting for Mongolia to make its contribution.

“We will help inoculate Mongolian cattle in order to enlarge meat deliveries to Russia,” he said.

In all, assistance will amount to 375 million rubles, Putin said.

“Russian companies – several dozens of them are working in Mongolia – actively invest in transport infrastructure, new railroad lines, mineral survey and mining,” Putin said. “These projects build up the export potential of Mongolia, in particular, through the use of Russian seaports in trade with third countries. These are Far Eastern seaports, in the first turn,” he said.

Source:ITAR-TASS, Russian News Agency
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