Russia and Mongolia committed to boosting trade to 10 billion USD by 2020, during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s five-hour visit to Ulaanbaatar on Wednesday.
Although Russia owns 51 percent of Ulaanbaatar Railways and 49 percent of state-owned Erdenet copper mine, trade with Mongolia has been dropping steadily in recent years.
Mongolia-Russia trade stood at 1.6 billion USD in 2013, down 16 percent from the previous year. Trade is expected to be boosted to 10 billion USD by 2020 by cooperating in railway and transportation development, according to Putin and Elbegdorj. A similar arrangement to boost trade was made during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.
Putin hinted at interest in the Mongolian meat industry, noting that there is potential for export in the sector, provided Mongolia is able to meet Russian standards.
Mongolian President Ts.Elbegdorj said during a press conference that Putin’s visit was in relation to the 75th anniversary of the 1939 victory of the Battles of Khalkhiin Gol over Japan, and highlighted that major issues related to economic growth and infrastructure were addressed.
“This year the people of Mongolia and Russia are jointly celebrating the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Battles of Khalkhiin Gol. The bilateral relations between our two countries have faced many historic challenges,” said President Elbegdorj.
The President of the Russian Federation expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and emphasized that the victory at Khalkhiin Gol is one of the brightest pages in the history of mutual relations between the two countries.
In relation to the visit, officials of Russia and Mongolia signed 14 agreements pertaining to cooperation in the infrastructure, transportation, aviation, petroleum, military and communications sectors.
President Elbegdorj highlighted that the much talked about visa-free travel agreement has been signed.
Putin’s visit, his third since 2000, underlines Mongolia’s growing significance in the region, according to experts. Mongolia has enjoyed high level visits from China and Japan this year, which brought about major agreements on boosting trade and economic ties.
President Elbegdorj stated that a new page in Mongolia-Russian ties has been turned through Putin’s visit and that he expects “great outcome” in both countries as a result.
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