Russia Looks To Mongolia To Further Develop China Trade & Connectivity

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Arctic gas transit to China and increased Russia-China rail capacity on the agenda

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived yesterday (Tuesday, July 5) in the Mongolian capital, Ulaan Baatar, for talks with his Mongolian counterpart, Battsetseg Batmunkh, as well as with the President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh and the chairman of State Great Khural, Gombojavyn Zandanshatar.

The two countries’ top diplomats have a detailed discussion of key issues on the bilateral agenda, and the progress Russia and Mongolia have made in the implementation of agreements reached at the highest and high levels to develop further mutually advantageous cooperation in economy, transport, infrastructure, and energy the Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier. Enhancing cooperation both on the international arena and in the region will also be discussed.

Mongolia is an important transit point for Russia-China trade as the Trans-Mongolian Railway splits off from the Trans-Siberian at Irkutsk, and head south across Mongolia before terminating in Beijing.

Talks have been on-going since 2019 to upgrade that route and possibly make in double track, however progress has been delayed due to Covid.

Mongolia is also in discussions with China and Russia over the Trans-Mongolian LNG pipeline, which would transport gas from Russia’s Yamal Arctic peninsula through to China.

The country is also well known for its as yet unrealized yet significant reserves of rare earths other exotic minerals and metals which Russia especially will need to source for its IT industry given the Western sanctions imposed upon it. Mongolia is also discussing a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, and Ulaan Baatar’s price to join may well be increased rail capacity – paid for by Moscow. Lavrov’s visit should start to unlock some of these mineral and transit commodities as the new, Asia-focused Russia begins to emerge.

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