President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
Our talks with President Elbegdorj and this visit in general coincided with one of the biggest events in the history of our relations: the 75th anniversary of our joint victory at the river Khalkin-Gol.
I would like to express our gratitude to Mongolia’s government and people for looking after our common historic heritage. The celebration events marking this important date are proof of this respect for our past. Today we are taking part in one of the commemorative events.
Our common historic memory and heroic pages of the past certainly provide a good base for building our modern bilateral relations in a spirit of mutual respect, trust and friendship. President Elbegdorj and I were in unison during our talks in saying that our task now is to take concrete steps to continue developing our cooperation for the good of both our peoples.
We examined in detail the various areas in our bilateral strategic partnership and outlined plans to strengthen and develop it, especially our trade and economic ties.
Following these talks, Mr Elbegdorj and I will give instructions to the relevant ministries to draft a roadmap for the work ahead. The focus will be on developing business activity, encouraging trade and reciprocal investment, and expanding our humanitarian contacts.
As the members of the press saw, we have agreed to step up our cooperation in developing Mongolia’s transport infrastructure. In this context, I want to say that developing the railway network will help Mongolia to open up rich but for now hard to access deposits and make broader and more effective use of its potential as a transit country.
We have built up solid experience in the mining industry. I would cite the successful example of Erdenet, which is one of Asia’s biggest producers of copper and molybdenum. I also want to mention Mongolrostsvetmet, which works in the gold-mining sector. These two companies account for up to 20 percent of Mongolia’s GDP and have plans for comprehensive technological modernisation.
We agreed to intensify our cooperation in air transport. The protocol on cooperation in civil aviation and the memorandum on expanding Aeroflot’s and Mongolian Airlines’ route networks will help in this area.
Russia has traditionally been a reliable electricity supplier to Mongolia, covering 7 percent of the country’s electricity consumption and playing a big part in its energy security.
Russian company Rosneft, one of the world leaders in hydrocarbons productions, covers a large share of Mongolia’s demand for oil products, supplies Chinggis Khaan International Airport in Ulan Bator, and has big plans for developing its activities on the Mongolian market.
I note too that Russian-made GAZ and URAL cars and buses and some other types of vehicles have earned a good reputation in Mongolia. Our manufacturers plan to increase their supplies to the Mongolian market.
President Elbegdorj noted during our talks that the trade balance is somewhat skewed in Russia’s favour and proposed that we lift the restrictions on animal products from Mongolia entering the Russian market. We will certainly take this step in our Mongolian friends’ favour and the Russian Government will soon make the necessary decisions.
Mongolia has good prospects for significantly increasing its supplies of livestock industry produce to Russia’s market so long as it complies with Russia’s health and sanitary norms. Our specialists have been in contact for a long time now and I am sure that they will manage everything with success.
We also gave particular attention to humanitarian issues and ties, areas such as education, cultural ties, and reciprocal travel between our countries.
We know that the Ulan Bator branch of one of Russia’s top universities, the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, is very popular. The agreement with Rosneft will help to develop these opportunities.
The agreement on abolishing visas for our citizens’ reciprocal travel is also important, as is our regional cooperation. We will of course support coordination in international relations and continue our cooperation in the main negotiation forums such as the UN and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
In conclusion, I want to say that these talks reflected our desire to strengthen the wide-ranging cooperation between our countries.
I want to thank President Elbegdorj for the invitation and thank our colleagues on both sides for this visit’s thorough preparation.