Ladies and Gentlemen! It is a pleasure to see this fine audience at the 65th Mining Council meetinghere at Norton Rose Fulbright office in Moscow. Allow me to thank the Council for this opportunity to speak on the topic of geopolitics concerning Russia and Mongolia. Taking into account 4 years of my business experience in Mongolia, interaction with relevant Mongolian Ministries and Departments, and being the owner of the United Mongolian Mining &Investment Company, I can state that the conditions for cooperation in the mining sector between Russia and Mongolia are most favorable. Clearly, I am referring to bringing to international market a number of the added value products in such sectors as the development of gold deposits, gold ore mining, gold refining, copper mining and production of copper concentrate, dumps and tails handling with the purpose of non-ferrous, rare and precious metals extraction.
Currently, Mongolia is open for international cooperation. President Battulga through his Foreign Office is in constant communication with various countries in the West, the Far and Middle East, Central Asia. From my point of view, it is quite odd that Russia, given the track record of partnership at least since 1939, is presently acting as an old friend at best, as opposed to being an active business partner of Mongolia. I am an avid promoter of partnership and cooperation between Mongolia and Russia whenever it is relevant and appropriate. I addressed the issue in Moscow, London, Nursultan that it is, indeed, high time for Russian business communities and high ranking officials to take necessary steps to make this partnership happen.
As we say in Russian: the holy place hardly remains vacant for too long. A while ago, the US Senate came up with a bill addressing Mongolia as a “Third Trade Neighbor”. Clearly, the US Senate did a fine job maximizing the semantics of the aforementioned bill. It doesn’t take a college degree to know that Mongolia has only 2 neighbors – Russia and China. Apparently each country comes up with its own version of “The Art of War” scroll. As you can tell, I am facetious here. On July 26, 2018, US Representative of the State of Florida “Mr. Yoho (for himself, Ms. Titus, Mr. Young of Alaska, Mr. Meadows, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Ms. Stefanik, Mr. Polis, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Keating, and Mr. Evans) introduced a bill, which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Mean, to promote United States-Mongolia trade by authorizing duty-free treatment for certain imports from Mongolia, and for other purposes” (H.R.6636 - Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act 115th Congress (2017-2018) Technically speaking, it is about cashmere export to the US. By the way, Mongolian wool has been for years of high demand in Italy. Personally, I do not believe that investors are dreaming about coming to Mongolia. The US expansion plan can hardly be considered as competition to Russia’s potential in the mining and transportation sectors in the country. The elections to the People’s Khural of Mongolia (Parliament) will take place in 2020. Many of us are aware of the disputes between President Battulga and the Mongolian Parliament. Now, it is the right time to bet on President Khaltmaagin Battulga, an expert of Chingis Khan’s heritage. Mongolia is the path to partnership.