President Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,
Today’s Russian-Mongolian summit meeting was useful and productive. It is a significant event in the traditionally friendly dialogue between our two countries.
One of the main outcomes is the Moscow Declaration that we signed today. This declaration reflects the close positions that Russia and Mongolia share on the main issues affecting us today. It reaffirms that the relations between our countries are growing steadily and will continue to develop in a spirit of partnership, mutual benefit and mutual trust.
Trade and economic cooperation was at the centre of our attention today. Our bilateral trade has been showing stable growth over these last years. Russian companies are ready to work in Mongolia and make considerable investment in its economy. This includes investment in projects in the mining industry, electricity, construction and transport infrastructure development.
It is important to raise the efficiency of our two countries’ leading joint ventures – Erdenet, Mongolprostsvetmet and the Ulan Bator Railway – above all through modernising and upgrading. Experts have calculated that this will require investment of more than $2 billion over the period through to 2015. This is a serious undertaking but I think it is an entirely realistic task for our economies. If we put in place the right conditions for developing investment – and this was something that we discussed at length today – the investment figures we are looking at could reach $5 billion over the next few years.
Both Russia and Mongolia have an active interest in developing ties between our respective border regions and between our regions in general. This was made convincingly clear during the Mongolian President’s recent visits to Novosibirsk Region, Buryatia and Kalmykia. In this respect I note the importance of the new agreement on the Russian-Mongolian border rules and procedures that we signed today. This document seeks to reduce to a minimum the barriers in the way of business cooperation. I am sure that the Russian-Mongolian border will remain a border of peace, partnership and good-neighbourly feelings.
We consider it very important to deepen the humanitarian contacts between our two countries. Russia will continue to help Mongolia in training specialists for its various needs and will continue to develop cooperation in science, culture and tourism.
I recall that on Mongolia’s initiative, visa-free travel between our two countries ended in 1992. During our talks today, the Mongolian President raised the issue of simplifying the visa requirements and reintroducing visa-free travel. Russia is ready to examine this issue and give a positive response. I hope that our subsequent consultations will result in a solution that satisfies both sides.
I note that use of the Russian language is widespread in Mongolia. All of our discussions today took place in Russian and without interpreters. We greatly value the attention Mongolia’s leadership gives to developing humanitarian ties with Russia and developing the Russian language. We intend to make our contribution by establishing Russian language classes and programmes and organising competitions for schoolchildren and students. We are ready to take this work further, in particular, by extending the federal targeted programme Russian Language to Mongolia and implementing the measures it provides for. We think that this will create much broader opportunities for people in Mongolia, especially young people, to become familiar with Russia’s information space, study in Russian higher education institutions and develop cultural and scientific ties.
During our talks we also discussed the main issues on the regional and global agenda. Our countries have longstanding and solid traditions of working together on international issues. Our talks today reaffirmed the similarity in our positions on the main international issues, and this is important. During today’s consultations we reiterated our common desire to create conditions for the stable and progressive development of all the countries in the region.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the President of Mongolia for his open and businesslike approach to today’s talks and for the substantial discussion we had. I hope that the agreements reached today will give the strategic partnership between our countries a new pace and quality.
President of Mongolia Nambaryn Enkhbayar: Vladimir Vladimirovich, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
I would like to say how deeply satisfied I am with my visit to the Russian Federation, and especially with the results of the meeting and talks with the Russian President. As I have already said today, this visit coincides with the 85th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. This anniversary obliges us not only to think about the close relations we have had in our past, but also to build just such relations in the future, because this is in the interests of both the Russian and Mongolian peoples.
I have also said already today that President Putin’s visit to Mongolia in 2000 was a significant event because before this visit took place, as is well known, the economic relations between our two countries had been undergoing a decline. But after Mr Putin came to Mongolia in 2000, there was a dramatic upturn in our relations. Today, our bilateral trade comes to $460 million-$500 million. This is not a bad result, but we are not going to stop there. I think we can soon increase our bilateral trade to $1 billion, and that is not the limit either. The investment that Vladimir Vladimirovich mentioned, the cooperation that we have committed ourselves to developing following this meeting and everything that is reflected in the Moscow Declaration, all give us grounds for pointing to even higher future volumes of trade between our countries.
Of course, not only the federal authorities in Russia and Mongolia work together, but our respective regions are also developing ties between themselves, and inter-regional ties account for around 60–70 percent of our bilateral trade. Our Russian friends received us in Buryatia, Novosibirsk and Kalmykia, and everywhere we went we were welcomed with much warmth and hospitality. During these visits to the regions we discussed how to increase our trade and develop our cooperation. We know that large Russian companies and businesses seek to invest in the Mongolian economy, and we know that this will bring to our economy not only large sums of money but also good technology and development. We agreed therefore that investment should be of a comprehensive nature, that it should encompass the mining industry, infrastructure and the social sector. We also discussed the need and possibility of developing joint ventures. These joint ventures should be above all efficient and competitive on the international stage, and this will require the active help of both sides, as was expressed at today’s talks.
Mongolia and Russia have always shared common positions on the main international issues, and this was reaffirmed at our talks today. We are pleased that Russia is supporting us in our international activities and we will continue to work actively and closely together, coordinating our work and efforts. We are pleased that Russia is prepared to examine and settle the issue of visa-free travel for Russian and Mongolian citizens between our two countries. I think that this will also help to develop our bilateral cooperation.
Studying in Russian higher education institutions is a very important part of our cooperation. As I said to Vladimir Vladimirovich today, I myself studied in Moscow in my time. We would like Mongolian citizens to study at prestigious Russian universities to become engineers and other highly skilled specialists. We see this as very important for our cooperation and for our country’s development.
In my capacity of President of Mongolia, I have invited President Putin to make an official visit to our country. I hope that this visit will take place soon and that it will take our cooperation to an even higher level. We need now to visit each other more frequently and intensify our contacts. We need to work faster, be quicker to exchange information, work faster on carrying out projects and obtaining good results.
Once again, I thank President Putin, all of our Russian friends and colleagues, the ministers, members of parliament and other officials for the warmth and hospitality we have received here. This visit has made a very good impression on us. A large delegation of Mongolian businesspeople accompanied us on this visit and they are having a good meeting today with their Russian business partners. I hope that they have found plenty of good projects and mutual interests. All of this enables us to hope and believe that after this visit, in the spirit of the Moscow Declaration, our relations will develop even more intensively for the good of our peoples.