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Press statements following Russian-Mongolian talks

September 3, 2019, Ulaanbaatar

President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,

Today we held talks in a restricted format with President Putin, who has come to Mongolia on an official visit. We exchanged opinions on many issues in a friendly and business-like manner and made important decisions.

Mongolian-Russian relations have been tested by historical traditions, combat fraternity and time and are developing on the principle of mutual trust.

We are grateful that President of Russia Vladimir Putin, who has come here on an official visit, is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the victory of the Khalkhin Gol Battles together with us.

This victory, which has protected our independence and sovereignty and fuelled friendship between our peoples, is sacred to us.

Our peoples worked together to build a peaceful life and they fought together during the war. We must ensure that future generations remember the combat heroism of the Mongolian and Soviet soldiers who fought side by side on the battlefield.

We will never tire of praising the heroism of the Mongolian and Soviet soldiers who have given their lives for the independence of Mongolia.

This visit by the President of Russia has taken our bilateral relations to a new level of comprehensive strategic partnership.

We have signed the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Russian Federation and Mongolia.

The signing of the new long-term treaty has advanced our relations to the level of comprehensive strategic partnership and it is a vital document, strengthening our mutual trust. Our cooperation has entered a new phase.

I would like to say that the visit by the President of Russia was very meaningful and business-like. We have signed 10 intergovernmental and interdepartmental documents, as well as an interstate agreement that will influence our bilateral relations and cooperation.

Our military technical cooperation is developing successfully. I am delighted to say that we have renewed the intergovernmental protocol extending the intergovernmental agreement on the provision of military technical assistance to Mongolia on a grant basis signed in 2004.

I accepted with gratitude the invitation from the President of Russia to take part in the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. I believe that we will send a large Mongolian delegation to attend these celebrations.

We discussed the possibility of enhancing the efficiency of our joint venture, Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBTZ), as part of the efforts to boost our bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

We expressed interest in using the 100 billion ruble export credit, which we requested from the Russian Government to increase the authorised capital of UBTZ, in the sphere of energy cooperation and to build the Zuunbayan- Khangi railway line.

We are grateful to Russia for the opportunity to use its Far Eastern seaports. This has given us access to the sea.

We received this opportunity in 2018 when we signed an intergovernmental agreement on transit rail transportation.

We have signed an agreement with the Russian company Fesco, the owner of Zarubino port in the Far East, and have prepared a feasibility study for the construction of a new coal terminal there.

We have once again expressed our desire to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, and we hope that Russia will support us. We believe that in light of expanding economic cooperation we need to determine the priority areas for Russian investment and to take measures to increase Mongolian exports to Russia.

I would like to express gratitude to the Russian Government for opening a trade mission in Mongolia. I believe that the measures we have taken will stimulate our economic relations and that we will open a Mongolian trade mission in Vladivostok soon.

We are interested in implementing large projects in the future. In this context, I propose creating a joint high-level working group and implementing major research projects in trade and the economy.

The Development Bank of Mongolia and the Russian Direct Investment Fund have agreed on the establishment of a joint ruble and tugrik investment fund and have signed a memorandum on cooperation.

We have settled problems that remained outstanding for years, including the first stage of the problem with Russian property in Mongolia and the excise duties of Ulaanbaatar Railway (UBTZ).

In conclusion, I would like to say once again that during this visit by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, our traditionally friendly relations have moved up to a new level of comprehensive strategic partnership and have thereby opened a new page in our relationship.

Mr President, I would like to express gratitude to you for finding the time to visit Mongolia and for accepting my invitation.

Thank you.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,

Our official visit to Mongolia is timed to coincide with the celebrations marking the anniversary of our shared victory in the Battles of Khalkhin Gol.

In 1939, 80 years ago, Soviet and Mongolian troops fought side by side to push back the aggressor. Together, they stood up for Mongolia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

This victory dampened the belligerent ardour of the invaders, securing the Soviet Union’s borders in the Far East during the challenging years of the Great Patriotic War.

Of course, we remember very well the meaningful support from our Mongolia friends and the people of Mongolia to our country in its fight against fascism. Mongolia also supplied about 500,000 horses, a critical asset at the time.

Contributions donated by Mongolian citizens were used to build 53 tanks. These machines formed the Revolutionary Mongolia brigade that entered its first combat in 1943 during the Battle of Kursk. It was also among the first units to enter Berlin in 1945.

Mongolian Arat, a fighter squadron, also operated on the frontlines. The aircraft that formed it were also a present from Mongolia to the Soviet Union.

Next year will be the 75th anniversary of Victory over Nazism. Of course, we invited President of Mongolia, Mr Battulga, to attend the May 9 celebrations in Moscow to mark this historical date alongside other guests of honour and foreign leaders. I am grateful to my colleague and friend for agreeing to accept this invitation.

We strongly believe that the long-standing traditions of friendship and mutual assistance provide a solid foundation for further expanding Russia-Mongolia ties.

I cannot but agree with President Battulga: the talks that we had were in fact meaningful and constructive. We discussed a wide range of bilateral issues and exchanged views on urgent international and regional matters.

In the substantial package of documents that was signed, I would primarily give prominence to the Treaty on Friendly Relations and Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

This crucial instrument consolidates the quality and new level of Russian-Mongolian interaction and comprehensive strategic partnership. It also opens broad vistas for its further expansion in a wide range of areas.

Naturally, the talks focused on economic cooperation. Russia is one of Mongolia’s key foreign trade partners.

Last year, mutual trade grew by 21 percent and it has increased by another 12 percent in the seven months of this year. At the same time, as it seems, there is every opportunity not only to return to the peak trade indicators as achieved in 2012 but also to move further and expand bilateral trade exchanges.

We will jointly implement new projects, including in infrastructure, the mining industry, energy and agriculture. The Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific Cooperation is active in this field.

These projects will be financed by the Russian-Mongolian Investment Cooperation Fund: the Russian Direct Investment Fund and our Mongolian partners have signed an agreement on establishing it during this visit. Let me note that the fund’s investment will be mostly denominated in the two countries’ national currencies.

Russia has for years rendered considerable support to Mongolia’s effort to develop its transport infrastructure. The Ulaanbaatar Railway joint venture was launched 70 years ago. Last year, it reached an all-time high in the amount of freight it carried.

Earlier this year, Russian Railways helped to launch a new advanced rail traffic regulation system, which will make it possible to increase railway capacity of Mongolian railways still further.

Russian rail personnel are ready to help our Mongolian partners modernise tracks, upgrade the fleet of locomotives and build new traffic arteries.

Russia is by tradition a reliable energy supplier to Mongolia. Rosneft provides for most of the country’s oil product needs. The Rutech company is helping to modernise the Ulaanbaatar Thermal Power Plant #4, Mongolia’s main power station, which will make it possible to boost its power output.

Incidentally, its fourth power unit was put into operation after an overhaul yesterday.

Rosatom is considering the opportunities for establishing a nuclear science centre in Mongolia to enable the use of radiation technologies in medicine, industry, agriculture, and many other areas.

Naturally, humanitarian cooperation was discussed during the talks. Our countries are conducting interesting and promising scientific, cultural and sports exchanges. We hold Days of Russian-Mongolian Friendship and Days of Culture on a regular basis.

Cooperation in the field of education is steadily making headway. Russia is helping Mongolia to train some highly qualified personnel. Every year, 500 state-funded places are allocated for Mongolian applicants, including in such specialties as geology, oil production and also agriculture, which are much in demand in the Mongolian economy.

Of course, we discussed in detail the prospects of defence, military-technical and anti-terrorist cooperation between our countries. We consider working together in this sphere to be a major factor when it comes to ensuring security in Asia.

I would like to mention that the Selenga 2019 regular joint military exercises were successfully conducted in Mongolia in August. Naturally, we will continue this practice.

I would like to note that Russia and Mongolia have identical or close positions on major regional and international affairs. Our countries are coordinating their moves on multilateral venues, first and foremost in the UN.

Cooperation between Russia, Mongolia and China is expanding. A regular summit in this format took place in Bishkek in June.

Naturally, we welcome Mongolia’s striving to develop closer working contacts with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). We believe such cooperation will positively influence the trade and investment ties between our countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have a tight agenda for our visit. We still have meetings with the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Mongolian Parliament. However, I can already say that our joint work with our Mongolian colleagues and the agreements reached will certainly further promote our bilateral cooperation.

I would like to thank Mr Battulga and all of our Mongolian friends for the warm, welcoming reception. For our part, we will be delighted to receive the Mongolian President at the Eastern Economic Forum that opens in Vladivostok tomorrow.

Thank you very much.

September 3, 2019, Ulaanbaatar