Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mongolia Brief April 16, 2014



OT investment passes USD8 billion
April 15 (business-mongolia.com) The Government and Rio Tinto are yet to settle their differences over the project’s expansion. Most of the high grade ores lying in the underground mine, Mongolia worries about the debt it is currently incurring in building of the mine.
Open pit is complete and company is currently started exporting copper concentrates. The concentrator is operating at 100,000 tons of ore a day basis and Rio Tinto is seeking loan from international development finance institutions, commercial banks and credit agencies to raise USD7 billion in two stages through project financing.
Mongolia has been declining to support the Project Financing demanding the full breakdown and explanation of cost escalations. OT LLC, the project company is yet to submit the required updated Feasibility Study to the authorities and justify its costs according to the officials. As end of the month OT LLC have spent USD8.4 billion on the project and USD2.3 billion is in equity and rest in loans. Out of USD2.3 billion 34% is share of the Mongolian government which incurring debt of 6.5%+LIBOR over the years. Mongolia is to receive dividends after it pays off the incurring “shareholder loan” which comes after paying off the debts and if approved project financing. The estimated escalations by BM Research Team is estimated to be around USD20 billion for the whole project.


Ministry to Cooperate with Association of Mongolian Advocates
Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) The Ministry of Environment and Green Development and the Association of Mongolian Advocates will cooperate in 2014-2016.
A cooperation memorandum was signed Monday by the Vice Minister B.Tulga and by B.Ganbaatar, the president of the Association in the ministry hall.
In frames of the document, many activities will run between the two sides such as to eliminate duplication of laws and resolution of environment sector, to refine legal environment of green development, to advertise publicly, to decrease crimes and offences against environment, to give a legal assistance, and to bring cooperation between state and private bodies to newer level.
Furthermore, the sides intend to conduct research on relevant law and resolution, to involve advocates in environment and ecology education training and to specialize them in this sphere.


Proper Pesticide Use Discussed

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) The parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, Food and Agriculture is organizing a discussion on proper use and facing issues of pesticides on Wednesday.
Together with officers from the committee, representatives of the Industry and Agriculture Ministry, the Nature and Green Development Ministry and the Health Ministry are expected to attend the discussion to share opinions on the matter. The discussion meeting is taking place in the Hall B of the State Residence.
The most common use of pesticides in Mongolia is as plant protection products (also known as crop protection products), which in general protect plants from damaging influences such as weeds, plant diseases or insects.


Standing Committee Convenes

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTAME) The parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, Food and Agriculture is convening in the State Residence.
The meeting has commenced with the first discussion of a draft law on city re-planning. Preceding the discussion, a conclusion on the draft is expected to be submitted to the Standing Committee on Economy.
After that, there will be a hearing on a draft resolution of the Standing Committee on policies combating illegal logging and relevant measures planned. During the meeting, committee members will also be informed on preparation of spring sowing.


Mongolian Ambassador Presents Credentials

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia S.Enkhbat presented his credentials to Mr Abdulaziz bin Abdulla bin Abdulla, the Foreign Affairs Vice Minister of that country on Monday.
At the meeting, the former asked Mr Abdulaziz to convey a greeting of Ts.Elbegdorj, the President of Mongolia to the King Mr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the two holy mosques. He also asked the Vice Minister to pass a greeting from L.Bold, the Minister of Foreign Affairs to his counterpart the Prince Mr Saud Al-Faisel. The Ambassador also conveyed the Vice Minister Mr Abdulaziz a greeting from the Foreign Minister of Mongolia L.Bold.
The sides then shared views on the matters relating to cooperation and ties between Mongolia and Saudi Arabia, as well as an official visit of the Mongolian Foreign Affairs Minister to Saudi Arabia in this April.
Present at the event were D.Batsaikhan, an advisor to the Mongolian Embassy and Mr Azzam Ali Gain, a director of the Ceremony Department of Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr Mustafa Kavtar, a head of department for Asia matters.


Cooperation Contract Signed

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) A contract on supporting activities of Mongolian alumni of Australian universities and institutes has been established.
It was signed Wednesday by N.Enkhbold MP, chairman of the Mongolia Australian Scholarships Programme (MASP) and Yu.Tsetsegee, director of the Australian Scholarships in Mongolia Programme.
By the contract, the MASP, which is financed by the Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will help state servants and officials at the private sector to study in Australian universities and institutes for master degrees and to have the alumni be employed at relevant organizations.
It is considered the Programme will contribute to promote leadership and skills of the alumni and give them a big opportunity to join professional organizations and unions.


Bank of Mongolia Reports

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) The Bank of Mongolia reports money supply (broad money or M2) at the end of this March reached to 9,916.4 bln.tog, increasing 68.6 bln.tog or 0.7 percent compared to the previous month.
Money supply went up by 2,915.8 bln.tog or 35.8 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
By late March, currency issued in circulation reached 801.2 bln.tog, increasing 44.5 bln.tog or 5.9 percent compared to the previous month, and increased by 113.5 bln.tog or 16.5 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
Loans outstanding amounted to 11,380.9 bln.tog, going up by 221.8 bln.tog or 2.0 percent compared to the previous month, and increasing by 3,997.3 bln.tog or 54.1 percent compared to same period of 2013.
Principals in arrears at the end of March 2014 reached 279.6 bln.tog, increasing 80.8 bln.tog or 40.6 percent compared against the previous month and increased by 179.7 bln.tog or 2.8 times compared to same period of 2013.
The non-performing loans over the bank system reached 594.5 bln.tog, showing a decrease of 3.6 bln.tog or 0.6 percent compared to the previous month, and increased by 285.9 bln.tog or 92.6 percent compared to same period of the previous year.
In the first quarter of 2014, the Stock Exchange Market traded 3.4 mln.shares to have a total transaction value of 19.0 bln.tog.


General Government Budget in Statistical Mirror

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) In the first quarter of 2014, total revenue and grants of the General Government Budget (GGB) amounted to 1,127.9 bln.tog.
Total expenditure and net lending amounted to 1,287.0 bln.tog, representing deficit of 159.1 bln.tog in the equilibrated balance of GGB.
Compared to same period of 2013, tax revenue increased by 7.1 bln.tog or 0.7 percent, despite of decreases of 15.5 bln.tog or 6.1 percent in taxes on income, of 29.3 bln.tog or 18.8 percent in corporate income tax, of 2.0 bln.tog or 1.9 percent in other tax, However, there were increases of 10.2 bln.tog or 5.8 percent in social security contributions, of 8.1 bln.tog or 13.6 percent in taxes on foreign trade.
In the first quarter of 2014, total expenditure and net lending of the GGB increased by 267.3 bln.tog or 26.2 percent to 1,287.0 bln.tog against the same period of the previous year.
This increase happened mainly due to increases of 99.3 bln.tog or 3.7 times in capital expenditure, of 53.3 bln.tog or 10.9 percent in expenditure of goods and services, of 52.9 bln.tog or 11.1 percent in subsidies and transfers, of 49.2 bln.tog or 3.4 times in interest payments, and of 12.6 bln.tog in other lending minus repayments.


National Consumer Price Index Rises

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) The national consumer price index in this March increased by 0.8% against the previous month, by 3.5% against the beginning of the year and by 12.4% against the same period of the previous year.
The increase occurred mainly due to price raises of 1.7% in food and non-alcoholic beverages, of 1.2% in clothing, footwear and cloth.


Foreign Trade Balance Deficit Decreased

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) In the first quarter of 2014, Mongolia traded with 105 countries, where total external trade turnover reached 1,982.9 mln.US dollars, of which exports made up USD 986.9 mln and imports - USD 996.0 mln.
External trade balance showed a deficit of USD 9.1 mln in the first quarter of 2014. It was in deficit of USD 395.8 mln in the first quarter of 2013.
Compared to same period of the previous year, deficit decreased USD 386.7 mln.
Total external trade turnover decreased by USD 31.3 mln or 1.6 percent, of which imports went down by USD 209.0 mln or 17.3 percent, and exports grew by USD 177.7 mln or 22.0 percent, compared to same period of the previous year.


Social Welfare Statistics

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) In the first quarter of this year, revenue of social insurance fund reached 313.0 billion MNT while expenditure to 302.8 billion MNT, showing an increase 5.1 billion MNT or 1.6 percent and expenditure 32.8 billion MNT or 12.2 percent against previous year.
Granting 33.6 billion MNT to 162.3 thousand people from social welfare fund means that social welfare reached more 12.2 thousand people or 8.0 percent, estimated amount to be granted increased 2.7 billion MNT or 8.8 percent.
968.4 thousand children aged below 18 received 58.2 billion MNT from the Human Development Fund /HDF/.


Birth Statistics

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) In the first quarter of this year, 19,796 mothers delivered babies, a number of the alive born reached 19,925.
An increase in mothers was 924 or 4.9 percent and in children--973 or 5.1 percent against the same period of 2013.
At the national level, there was an increase in infant mortality--by 11 babies or 3.5 percent to 322, and of 1-5 aged children--by 23 or 6.2 percent to 392.  


Unemployment Decreases

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) In the first quarter of this year, the number of unemployed registered decreased by 917 persons or 2.6 percent against same period of 2013.
A total number of unemployed has reached 41,800 people and it means that an increase in unemployed was 821 people or 2.5 percent compared with previous month of this year.


Council of NGOs in Germany Holds Its Meeting

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) The 2nd meeting of the Mongolia-Germany NGO Council was held on April 12-13 in Berlin together with the Mongolia’s Embassy in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
During the meeting, participants discussed issues of working out a project called “Mongolian language” on training and management for Germany-based Mongolian schools with a purpose of delivering Mongolian language, script, culture, arts and lifestyle to Mongolian children abroad. They also discussed alteration of the council’s rule and an action for May to July of this year.
The NGOs introduced their main works to be done this year and exchanged information. Taking part for the first time in the council’s meeting, the “Urban nomads Mongol citizen” project, the Germany’s “Mongolian forum” union, the “Mongolian friends” union, the “Ireedui” school and Dusseldorf-based Mongolian school made presentations about their activities.
In addition, the NGOs have decided to submit their proposals on participating in a forum themed “Mongolian abroad – in homeland” that will be held on September 18 at an invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The council’s meeting brought together authorities and delegates of 16 NGOs located in Berlin, Stuttgart, Munich, Nuremberg and Dusseldorf cities.
The Mongolia-Germany NGO Council’s main purposes are to exchange information and experience among Germany-based Mongolian NGOs, to create a general network, to regulate the collaboration among them, and their activities, and to expand the Mongolia-Germany relations.
Next regular meeting has been scheduled on June 13-15, 2014 in Berlin.


Gobi Bear or Mazaalai’s Taxonomy Proven as Different from Himalayan Bear and Does Not Exist Anywhere Else in

Mongolia

April 16 (infomongolia.com) On April 15, 2014, the Ministry of Nature, Environment and Green Development announced that Mazaalai or Gobi bear is an independent sub-species and does not exist anywhere around the world, an endangered animal survived only in Mongolia that counts today about 22 heads.
The announcement was provided by researcher from Genetic Laboratory of the Institute of Biology affiliated Mongolian Academy of Sciences Ms. Tumendemberel ODBAYAR, who has recently completed joint study works to clarify taxonomy of Gobi bear under six-month contract at the Genetic Laboratory of the University of Idaho, USA.
In her statement, T.Odbayar affirmed, “Following the study, it rejects a Russian scholar summary proclaimed in 1980 that Mazaalai is classified to Himalayan bear and recent researches proves that Mongolian Mazaalai’s taxonomy is a new sub-type that does not exist anywhere else in Mongolia.
However, Mazaalai and Himalayan bears have one ancient origin and forebear, but they split 500-900 thousand years before the other species and according to study Mazaalai and Himalayan bears had become independent sub-species 5000 years ago. Before, the Mazaalai taxonomic group was uncertain and following the comprehensive studies Mazaalai’s taxonomy is proven as different from Himalayan bear.
We tried to proof the Mazaalai as a very rare endangered species that needs special attention of protection, but world affiliated organs were idling because they believe Gobi bears exist many in Himalaya, therefore this issue did not reach positive results to date".
In addition, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Green Development of Mongolia J.Batbold said, “This study proves that there is no place other than Mongolia of Mazaalai existence. Thus, we have urgent need for a high level of protection. Research findings will be presented at the government-level and the promotional works at the world-level will be carried out hereafter".
Mazaalai and Mongolia
The Government of Mongolia announced the year of 2013 to designate as "Year of Protecting Mazaalai - Gobi Bear" and in the frameworks, Ministry of Environment and Green Development unveiled a series of protective measures, including the establishment of a nature reserve to restore a safe habitat for the rare wild species, open a zoo, launching mazaalai.mn website and set up of a working group immediately to explore ways of increasing their population.
Besides, Govi-Altai Aimag proclaimed the Mazaalai or Gobi Bear as the Aimag’s Animal of Glory in 2013 to protect the worldwide endangered species in their Great Gobi "A" Strictly Protected Area, also named as one the nine wonders of Gobi-Altai.
Moreover, earlier in 2012, the Ministries of Environmental Protection of China and Mongolia agreed to cooperate in protecting Mongolia's Gobi bears.
The recent event to promote Mazaalai was conducted by German rapper and DJ Nana holding “Mazaalai Walking with Nana” event in Ulaanbaatar last February.
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“New Railway” project temporally halted

April 16 (news.mn) A temporary halt has been put on the “New Railway” project to construct a 217.9 km rail line connecting Ukhaa-Khudag in Tsogttsetsii sum to Gashuun-Sukhair border port in Khanbogd sum in Umnugovi province. The execute operator of the project is “Mongolian Railway”, a Mongolian state owned shareholding company.
Currently “Samsung C&T” and another 13 national construction companies were working on the project for the “New railway”. 
The current progress of earthwork preparations done for the railway line  is at 70 percent.
A local website has reported that the Local administration has forced “Samsung C&T” to halt construction and have sealed the earth moving equipment. The Deputy Local Governor of Khanbogd sum, D.Munkh-Erdene, spoke on the phone and said that “Samsung C&T” has a debt of one billion MNT for the use of gravel from the sum according to the Common Mineral law Mongolia. 
“The local economy is in difficulty as the budget is too low. Since last year the debt of one billion MNT has been created. A joint task force from the Local Governor`s Office and environment specialists decided to halt the construction by sealing the company`s equipments last week.” 
The “Mongolian Railway” Mongolian state-owned shareholding company has not commented on the report.


Taking Steppes: Mongolian Civil Society Leads the Way on EITI

April 15 (Revenue Watch) Since the massive Oyu Tolgoi gold and copper mine opened in the Gobi Desert in 2010, billions of Mongoliantugrugs have poured into the government’s coffers in Ulaanbaatar. Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian majority owner of the mine, provides grants and donations to communities in the surrounding Khanbogd district, as well as year-round assistance to local camel and goat herders. Similarly the Mongolian company Energy Resources, which owns 34 percent of the mine, has funded new construction in the nearby Tsogttsetsii district, a development that has drawn praise throughout the country. New jobs, a new power station, and many other grants and donations have brought prosperity and growth to the Omnogovi province, which is home to both districts.
But some citizens have criticized these companies rather than praised them. A team of Mongolian civil society representatives who participated in last year’s global conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Sydney expressed concerns that such contributions from mining companies, though recognized and appreciated, are not enough.
At a September discussion organized by Mongolia’s Publish What You Pay coalition (PWYP), in partnership with the Revenue Watch Institute, participants agreed that compliance with the new EITI Standard is even more important. And for the districts at the heart of Mongolia’s transformative mining boom, that begins with community-level engagement.
For their part, local stakeholders are ready. In recent years, Khanbogd and Tsogttsetsii have established official sub-councils chaired by deputy governors and comprised of representatives of local governments, mining companies and civil society. In 2010, the two districts piloted local EITI reports, a tailored version of national reports gathered in Ulaanbaatar—and the initiative is spreading. At the recent PWYP meeting, citizens from the neighboring Dornogovi province, which does not have mines but which has been affected by coal transport routes, arrived on their own initiative from a distance of 200 kilometers to join the conversation.
Compared to just a few years ago, rural citizens now demand very specific information about the mining operations within their borders. For example, herders want to know the names of license-holding companies, their ID numbers and owners, so as to hold them accountable from day one. More importantly, they want to know which mountains and hills are affected and how close their homes and winter houses sit to the licensed acreage. One herder even petitioned for the use of local names for the territories under license instead of unfamiliar nomenclature from the capital.
In this way, national discussions about transparency are shifting to the regions most affected. Mongolian laws require that local citizens and elected assemblies formally consent to the issuance of mining licenses, but residents and especially herders are too often left out of the process, while contracts signed with the mining companies are often far from public scrutiny. When good governance is missing at the local level, the EITI Standard is difficult to implement. Local authorities can help monitor and inspect progress, now and in the future, through district resources and financing. Information gathered locally can be distributed to households via newspapers, TV and radio. It can also be shared through central information centers, community meetings, or so called “citizens halls,” a popular platform for public dialogue.
The work to implement the new EITI Standard in rural Mongolia is just beginning. PWYP member organizations understand that simply adding new requirements is not sufficient. They agree that the country needs a general model for improving transparency at the local level and a proven methodology based on years of experience and partnership. Local efforts in Khanbogd and Tsogttsetsii are a start, and they offer hope to other districts that seek to benefit from Mongolia’s wealth of natural resources.
Tserenjav Demberel is the executive director of Transparency Foundation, PWYP Mongolia member. Dorjdari Namkhaijantsan is the Mongolia country coordinator for Revenue Watch.


Foreign Minister of Mongolia to Conduct Official Visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in April 2014

April 16 (infomongolia.com) On April 14, 2014, a non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sodnom ENKHBAT handed over a copy of paper of the credentials to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.
During the meeting, Ambassador conveyed greetings of Mongolian President to the King of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and greetings of the Foreign Minister of Mongolia, L.Bold to the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Also, parties exchanged views on Mongolia-Saudi Arabia bilateral issues of cooperation and discussed on upcoming visit of Mongolian Foreign Minister to Saudi Arabia scheduled in April 2014.
Newly accredited envoy S.Enkhbat is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia with residency in the State of Kuwait since April 2013, he also represents Mongolia as Ambassador to the State of Qatar.
Mongolia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have established the diplomatic relations on February 12, 2007.


Maksim Leonidov to Perform “Back in Mongolia” Concert in

Ulaanbaatar on May 10, 2014

April 16 (infomongolia.com) Russian popular singer Maksim Leonidov will be staging a "Back in Mongolia" concert in Ulaanbaatar with his "Hippoband" group at the UB Palace on May 10, 2014.
The concert will be organized by Doly Production and produced by President of Pentatonic Academy, music composer B.Dolgion and during the press conference held today, April 16, B.Dolgion informed, “The concert Back in Mongolia is named because, Maksim Leonidov was a leading singer of Soviet period “Secret” group and performed once in Mongolia in 1987. This event will bring nostalgias of 1990s.
Maksim will arrive in Ulaanbaatar on May 08. After implementing this project, Doly Production intends to carry out its next projects such as inviting top stars from Russian most beloved artists, for instances Alla Pugacheva and Andrei Makarevich, who are very popular among Mongolian audience”.
According to organizers, a ticket will be sold as 30 and 50 thousand MNT (Tugrug), VIP ticket is 80,000 MNT and the performance to start at 07:00 pm in UB Palace.
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Russian Pop Star to Perform HereMontsame, April 16



U.S. and Russian Ambassadors to Mongolia Debate

April 16 (infomongolia.com) On April 10, 2014, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Mongolia Ms. Piper Anne Wind Campbell addressed Mongolian nationals by posting her remarks on “Daily Post” (Udriin Sonin) newspaper titled “Stand together, united for Ukraine”.
Following the releases, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Mongolia Mr. Iskander Kubarovich Azizov commented on U.S. Ambassador’s remarks today on April 16, 2014.
The both remarks and comment is attached below sourced from the two Embassies’ official press releases in full.
Stand together, united for Ukraine
Since last November, the people of Ukraine have been striving to define their own future. In the process, they have become a symbol of courage and peaceful change for the whole world. The international community remains united for Ukraine, respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and giving its citizens the space and the support to help them determine how their country will be run and what their choices will be.
Last November in Kyiv, a small group gathered to tell their President that they wanted their voices heard. He had made a political decision not to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union. They disagreed, and they told him so publicly.
That public protest swelled to the tens of thousands. Their voices rose up to protest more than a political decision. Through the cold winter, citizens from the entire country stood together on the Maidan to urge an end to corruption in their country, more economic participation by hard-working citizens instead of shadowy secret business dealings, and true constitutional protections.
This is not just about Ukraine. It is about basic principles that govern relations among nations in the 21st century. As President Obama stated in Belgium on March 26, this is a “moment of testing for Europe and the United States, and for the international order that we have worked for generations to build.” This order is based on a set of core principles that include respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. Just because Russia has a deep history with Ukraine does not mean it should be able to dictate Ukraine’s future. On March 27, one hundred countries aligned in the U.N. General Assembly in support of the fundamental principles of the U.N. Charter, in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and against Russia’s illegal actions.
Another important point: Political activism in Ukraine today, as on the Maidan through the winter, includes all nationalities and all religions that make up multi-ethnic Ukraine. The people of Ukraine-Ukrainian, Russian, and Tatar speakers alike-have the right to determine their future as a sovereign and democratic nation.
Social media gives us access to understand these opinions firsthand. We need only to watch their videos, view their photographs or read their blogs, circulating the globe via a vibrant and open social media. A free and unfettered Internet has given these Ukrainian voices a global reach, so that even here in Mongolia we can see and hear and read for ourselves what the citizens of Ukraine have been striving to achieve.
The President, against whom the first small protest was organized, disappeared for seven days and eventually left his country.
The democratically-elected representatives of the people of Ukraine responded to fill the leadership vacuum created by Yanukovich’s cowardice, organizing a temporary, technocratic interim government and early, responsibly-organized elections.
In April that interim government will propose economic and political reforms that ensure a voice to each citizen of Ukraine. In May, the population of Ukraine will elect a new president with a mandate to build the future Ukraine that all of its people want.
Meanwhile, in Crimea, Russia has torn down and discarded the international legal order and thrown away the very notion of the rule of law. A forced, rushed, and illegal “referendum,” against the backdrop of a foreign military intervention, was used to justify a blatant land grab by a neighboring country. That precedent cannot stand. Crimea is Ukraine. The border recognized in the Ukrainian constitution is the border of sovereign Ukraine. The world has not been fooled into belief that a referendum engineered by Russia somehow justifies what is simply a land grab by force. We do so not to keep Russia down, but because the principles that have meant so much to Europe and the world must be lifted up. The United States, Mongolia, and the world, have an interest in a strong and responsible Russia, not a weak one.
In the coming weeks and months, from Kyiv to Washington to Ulaanbaatar, the world must continue to stand up for the rights of brave people everywhere who stand up to a corrupt and authoritarian leader. The citizens of Ukraine have asked for our support as they come together to define their reforms and run their elections. For the sake of a Europe whole, free and at peace, we all need to stand together, united for Ukraine.
Op-ed by U.S. Ambassador Piper Campbell
April 10, 2014
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Comment by the Ambassador of Russia to Mongolia Iskander K. Azizov on remarks by the Ambassador of the USA to Mongolia Piper Campbell
I’ve just come across Ambassador Piper Campbell’s remarks in the Mongolian press. It is my assumption that President Putin is going to give the best reply in his Q and A session with viewers and listeners across Russia on April 17th to the allegations by my distinguished US colleague and other like-minded Western representatives.
If you are not able to tune into the transmission, my Embassy will be happy to provide a transcript, to give you a chance for appreciating the difference between Russia’s real concern over the developments in Ukraine and some Governments’ grand standing on principles, that are lofty but as of late very often neglected by the West itself.
With the best of compliments,
Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Mongolia
Iskander K. Azizov
April 16, 2014
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


Ambassador Presents Credentials to Slovenia

April 16 (infomongolia.com) A non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia to the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Gunaajav BATJARGAL presented a Letter of Credence to President of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr. Borut Pahor in Ljubljana on April 14, 2014.
This is the first event of presenting credentials to the head of state since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Republic of Slovenia established on February 18, 1993.
Following the ceremony, Ambassador G.Batjargal conveyed greetings of the President of Mongolia, Mr. Ts.Elbegdorj to the President Borut Pahor and discussed issues on Mongolia-Slovenia relations and cooperation.
On the same day, newly accredited Ambassador G.Batjargal had a meeting with State Secretary at the Foreign Ministry of Slovenia Bogdan Benko. The sides expressed mutual determination to continue supporting each other within UN and other international organizations and foster bilateral relations and cooperation.
Newly accredited envoy G.Batjargal is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia with residency in the Republic of Austria since April 2013, concurrently serves as the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the UNODC, OSCE, UNIDO, IAEA and IACA respectively.
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Mongolia’s President Ts.Elbegdorj Tweets He is Good Now and Had Lunch with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

April 16 (infomongolia.com) Previously, it was reported that President of Mongolia Tsakhia ELBEGDORJ underwent a back surgery in Japan last March, but it was not clear to date when the President to return to his home county.
So, Japanese “Mainichi Shimbun” reported that the President Ts.Elbegdorj had a lunch with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe on April 16, 2014.
According to press, “The lunch with Mongolia’s President was not included in the Prime Minister’s working schedule. Two leaders probably talked about issues on Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea. In September 2013, Premier Shinzo Abe invited President Ts.Elbegdorj to have a lunch in his residence. Probably as a result of then meeting, a daughter of Japanese abducted national, who currently resides in North Korea, met her grandparents in Ulaanbaatar in March 2014. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Abe appreciated the Mongolia’s President for organizing such meeting.”
Moreover, in his Twitter social networking, President Ts.Elbegdorj twitted, “Hello Twitters, thanks for your blessing I am good now. I have just had a lunch with Prime Minister Abe. Will soon arrive”.
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Vice Minister of Health Visits Gilead Sciences Company in Foster

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) The Mongolia’s Vice Minister of Health J.Amarsanaa Monday visited the Gilead Sciences biotechnology company in Foster city, California, USA.
Mr Amarsanaa met authorities of the company, taking information and shared views on the Sofosbuvir medicine for Hepatitis C Treatment to be introduced soon, its consumption and medical results, officially registration of this medicine in the medicine list of Mongolia and an opportunity to supply it to Mongolia with a cheaper price.
According to the company’s experts, the Sofosbuvir medicine is capable of fully curing Hepatitis C virus by combining it with other medicines in 12-24 weeks.
During the meeting, the experts and medical doctors of the company reported they will visit Mongolia in June of 2014 in order to get acquainted with a present situation of the health system in Mongolia, infections and infections of Hepatitis C virus, its treatment condition, to study a chance of registering the Sofosbuvir medicine in the list and to hold a related meeting with health sector’s authorities.        


Health Minister Submits Draft Resolution

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) Health Minister N.Udval submitted Wednesday a draft resolution on State Policies on Medicine to Speaker Z.Enkhbold.
The medicine policies, main documents to define the Government’s policies aimed at provision of effective, safe and affordable medicine to the public, are based on international treaties and conventions on medicine, and relevant laws and regulations of Mongolia, and are expected to be carried out in 2014-2018.


FM Meets JICA President

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) Foreign Minister L.Bold received Wednesday Mr Akihiko Tanaka, President of theJapan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
At the meeting, the sides talked about preliminary measures to the mid-term cooperation program of the two countries that was concluded amid a visit of the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag to Japan in September of 2013.



International Handball Competition Opens in Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) An international handball trophy tournament has opened in the Buyant Ukhaa sports complex of Ulaanbaatar on Tuesday.
Opening the event, Chief of an Organizing Committee of the Tournament and Culture, Sports and Tourism Deputy Minister M.Tumenjargal made a speech in presence of President of Mongolia's Handball Federation (MHF) D.Jargalsaikhan and foreign representatives of the Asian Handball Association, and the International Handball Federation. The opening event was attended by some three thousand people representing the Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry of Mongolia, foreign embassies in Ulaanbaatar, and national sports organizations.
The first-ever international level tournament taking place in the nation is gathering some 200 athletes from six countries such as host Mongolia, North Korea, China’s Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam.
Three national TV channels such as National Public Broadcaster, TV-5 and Sport Box are expected to live broadcast the tournament.


Mongolian Handball Teams to Play against Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) At the first-ever international Handball tournament, men’s team of Mongolia is to play against Hong Kong team on Wednesday.
This will be the first match of our men’s team in the tournament. The men’s team of Hong Kong, however, won over Chinese Taipei on Tuesday.
Our women’s team that lost to Vietnam with a score of 33:15 at an opening match on Tuesday will match against a team of China’s Taipei which won over North Korea at their first match.
The tournament will continue until April 19.


Altain Bars Loses to Hong Kong Team

Ulaanbaatar, April 16 (MONTSAME) Altain Bars volleyball team of Mongolia lost to Green Dragon of Hong Kong in four sets 23-25, 16-25, 25-23 and 17-25 on Tuesday.
This was the 15th place match of 2014 Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championships in the Philippines. Thus, the Mongolian team finished the tournament in the last place.
The 2014 Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championship was supposed to be held in Vietnam but later withdrew from hosting. The tournament is continuing in Philippines this April 8-16. The champions of the tournament will qualify for 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship in Belo Horizonte, Brazil as Asia's representative.
The final match of the tournament is expected to be played between Al-Rayyan of Qatar and Matin Varamin of Iran on Wednesday.


Bill on Glass Account backed by standing committee

April 16 (news.mn) The Standing Committee on the Budget approved the Bill on the Glass Account submitted by President Ts.Elbegdorj on Wednesday as it was backed by the majority of Committee members.  
The Bill was formulated with the intent to make the State transparent and open to the public, to guarantee their civil rights by providing information, and to make the state finance healthy and stable and disciplined providing a transparent budget. 
The Bill on the Glass Account is focused on making information associated with budget income, expenditure, cash flow, and statements as well as debt, loans, bail, property and real estate transparent to public. It is also designed to release definite and immediate information to the public, and regulate relations, auditing, and responsibilities among organizations and officers. 
The law initiators say that transparent resolutions and functions related to government and local budget, expenditure, cash flow, statement and debt, loan bail, property and real state will begin to establish public monitoring system, and a smart management system of taxpayers’ payments.


Mongolian National Script Day will be marked

April 16 (news.mn) Mongolian National Script Day is annually celebrated across the country during the first week of May. 
To welcome the Mongolian National Script Day, Mongolian language study faculty at the National University of Mongolia and the Mongolian University of Science and Technology are holding a Traditional Mongolian Script State Competition named after the people`s teacher D.Choijilsuren along with the Culture, Sport and Tourism Ministry and Mongolian culture and script “Khos Uyanga” NGO. 
The Traditional Mongolian Script State Competition is a popular event across the country that aims to promote and expand the use of traditional Mongolian script in the online world. 
The State Competition is being held for the 13th year among universities in professional and non-professional categories. The State Competition was held among civil servants for the 5th year and for the 3rd time among Mongolian language teachers at secondary schools. 

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