As the Department of Governmental Information informed, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov announced that Russia and Mongolia had agreed to sign an intergovernmental agreement concerning further business activity of the Erdenet mining company. Today Mr. Kasyanov met with Mongolian entrepreneurs in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. According to the Prime Minister, the new agreement is consistent with the most recent economic trends currently taking place in both countries. The Russian Prime Minister also noted that Russia hoped for a prompt doubling in bilateral trade turnover, thus raising it up to $500 million. Both Russia and Mongolia consider the existing turnover of $250 million as unacceptably low.
Mr. Kasyanov informed that a number of Russian companies - Gazprom and United Energy Systems of Russia among them - are interested in cooperation with Mongolia, and especially in joint exploitation of the country's natural resources. Russian companies intend to help build a new commercial centre and a 340-apartment mini-neighbourhood in Ulan Bator.
Prior to the meeting with Mongolian entrepreneurs, Mikhail Kasyanov, on behalf of the Russian President, awarded the Russian Insignia of Friendship to some distinguished Mongolian politicians, who in turn awarded him an Honorary PhD in Science from the Mongolian State Polytechnic University for encouraging cooperation between the two countries. After the ceremony, the Russian Prime Minister stressed how much Russia valued these bilateral relations that had stood the test of time (last November Moscow and Ulan Bator celebrated the 80 years of diplomatic relations). 'During all this time our peoples have defended human principles hand in hand. All that has been done lies now at the basis for further long-term interaction between our countries,' he emphasised.