ULAN BATOR, September 03./ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived on Wednesday with an official visit in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator, where he was greeted with a solemn ceremony on the central square.
The Russian president was met on the Sukhbaatar Square (Genghis Khan Square) by the guards of honor dressed in bright red and blue uniforms and, according to a Mongolian tradition, a little girl of about five years old of age presented Putin with flowers.
After the national anthems of Mongolia and Russia were played, Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj introduced to Putin the delegation of his country and the Russian president introduced the Russian delegation.
The Russian delegation, led by Putin, includes Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Deputy Prime Minister and presidential envoy to the Russian Far East Yury Trutnev, Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka, Natural Resources and Ecology Minister Sergei Donskoi, Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov, Construction, Housing and Public Utilities Minister Mikhail Men, Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov.
The Russian and Mongolian leaders are first expected to hold talks in a bilateral format and then continue them with the participation of the members of both delegations.
Commenting earlier on Putin’s visit to Mongolia and the Russian-Mongolian bilateral relations, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told journalists that Moscow had been recently unhappy about the level of economic cooperation between Russia and Mongolia and the situation needed changes.
“Cooperation in trade and economic sphere had been recently developing very calmly, even with some negative tendency although Russia remains second largest trade partner for Mongolia after China,” Ushakov said.
According to the Russian presidential aide, the mutual trade had been recently on decline dropping by 16% to $1.6 billion in 2013 against the previous year and by 13% in the first half of this year against the same period in 2013. Moscow believes the negative dynamics is connected with the decrease in the deliveries of oil products, machinery and equipment, he said.
“We expect active discussions on the current state of affairs and expect the presidents to issue orders to the governments [of Russia and Mongolia] to work out the so-called Road Map on the development and diversification of cooperation,” Ushakov told journalists.
The issue of transportation, he said, was one of the priority issues for the cooperation development.
Ushakov said that during Putin’s visit a deal on the strategic partnership and modernization of the Ulan Bator Railway was expected to be signed between the Russian Railways company and the Mongolian Road and Transportation Ministry.
Russia is also expected to discuss with Mongolia deliveries of Russian GAZ, Ural and PAZ trucks and buses.
Energy sector, Ushakov said, was another important issue for bilateral talks, adding that in all, 13 documents were expected to be signed during the visit of Putin and the Russian delegation.