The President Elbegdorj of Mongolia met with President Medvedev of Russia on Tuesday 31st May 2011 to discuss a number of areas of co-operation between the two Central Asian countries.
Agreements were signed to allow for research co-operation between the Russian and Mongolian Academies of Medical Sciences as well as a cross-border nature reserve at Uvs Nuur Basin. Intellectual property agreements were also signed “within the framework of bilateral defence cooperation”, amendments were made to the bilateral agreement of 6th June 1949 relating to the Soviet-Mongolian company Ulaanbaatar Railway.
In his press statement, President Elbegdorj took the opportunity to make a request for more petrol products, university places and cultural co-operation from Russia:
“Nearly 100% of Mongolia’s domestic demand for petroleum products is satisfied by Russia, but due to certain difficulties experienced by our Russian partner we are not receiving the full amount of petroleum products, including diesel fuel, which has led to disruptions in the sowing campaign, as well as in industry generally and public transport. Mr President drew special attention to this issue and promised to assist us in resolving it, for which we are grateful.
“An important inter-governmental agreement on defence cooperation has been signed. Defence cooperation is a traditional sector of our cooperation and we intend to continue it.
“We have also discussed instigating joint research of the cultural and historical heritage stored in museums and archives of the Russian Federation.
“We are grateful to Russia for its intention to increase the quota for Mongolian students to study at Russian universities. This is very important for our country because young people who will receive their education at Russian schools will in future play an important role in the development of bilateral cooperation.”
The visit marks the 100th anniversary of Mongolia’s independence, the 90th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations and the 30th anniversary of a joint space mission between the two countries. Trade between Russia and Mongolia stood at $1 billion in 2009 – up 40% from the previous year, but represents a trade imbalance which favours Russia.
President Elbegdorj also visited St Petersburg and Elista – a region with close cultural ties to Mongolia. The Russian language was also a topic of discussion as many Mongolians have traditionally learned Russian to facilitate trade. President Elbegdorj visited Lomonosov Moscow State University prior to his meeting with President Medvedev as part of the program to facilitate Russian language learning among Mongolians.
The Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, also held a meeting with the Mongolian Minister of Defence Luvsanvandan Bold, who had arrived in Moscow as a member of the official delegation of the President of Mongolia.
The defence ministers exchanged views on the reform of the armed forces of both countries and discussed a Russian-Mongolian joint anti-terrorist exercise “Selenge” which is scheduled for September 2011. They also welcomed the successful training of the first group of Mongolian children at Omsk Cadet Corps. The training had commenced in January 2010 within the framework of an intergovernmental agreement. Anatoly Serdyukov reiterated the readiness of the Russian government to continue training the armed forces of Mongolia in Russian military schools throughout the next academic year.