Mongolia - a country of particular Putin's attention, but there are problems for Russia ...
By Vasiliy Ivanovich, ivanovic1963.livejournal.com
September 8 (ARD) After Putin's visit to Mongolia proclaimed "new perspectives", mainly - in the economic relations between the two countries. But, if you look closely - they are not so new, these prospects. And prospects whether it really? Russian bloggers analyze the reasons of "Putin's special attention" to the "land of Genghis Khan" and find that the vital interests of Russia can not afford any whatsoever Russian leadership "miss Mongolia."
All the great Russian or Soviet state leaders sought to go down in history as the "gatherer of Russian lands." Lenin ineptly lost part of the Russian Empire as Finland, Poland has always remained the focus of Stalin, who did much to restore at least part of the lost territories. As a result of the wars in 1939-1940, the Soviet Union annexed to his Western Ukraine, Western Byelorussia and pushed the border of Finland from the then Leningrad.
Putin, no doubt, a great politician. He revived a sense of Russia's greatness in the hearts of Russians. Thanks to Putin Russia has an independent foreign policy, not looking around on Washington or the EU. But the difference between the foreign policy of the USSR and the Russian Federation is the current elementary pragmatism Russian leaders.
If earlier the Soviet Union was willing to help and arms and loans to all who proclaimed the socialist orientation, and friends of the USSR proved to be very odious figures like Saddam Hussein Nur Muhammad Taraki, or, now purely economic or geopolitical interests are in the foreground.
Even old friends of the USSR, as Fidel Castro, Russia is a very pragmatic policy. Write-off of the old Soviet debts of Cuba does not look like an act of desperation rich creditor is unable to recover their money from the bankrupt customer, but as a multi-step. For debt relief in Cuba have to allow Russia to renovate a military base that existed during the Soviet period. Apparently, this is part of a larger plan for Russia's military presence around the world.
1520 and Mongolia
But Mongolia - a country of particular Putin's attention. The issue is not that Mongolia was for many years the USSR satellite dish. Not even the fact that the Mongols, the advantage of the weakness of Gorbachev and relying on the promises of the then Secretary of State James Baker, drove many thousands contingent of Soviet troops virtually overnight. Of course, such actions do not add warmth in relations between states. And hardly anyone remembers it now, during the anniversary of the victory in the Khalkhin-Gol.
Now Russia to Mongolia's economic and geopolitical interests. You can not even say exactly what the interest is in the first place. Most of all - economic.
Yakunin and Mongolia
Yakunin is not a major specialist in the field of railway transport. He's a friend of Putin. Besides Yakunin Railways is the mass of specialists. Yakunin role is not to control Railways as a business manager. He is responsible for the transport part of the great geopolitical game. The names may be different, "Eurasian Union", "customs union". This is a counterweight to the European Union.
Putin wants to economically connect all former Soviet republics except the Baltic, into a single economic zone. The first participants were Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Kazakhstan has had an interest in more strategic. Kazakhstan needed a large and reliable partner in its relations with China. And Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko rather have simply had no choice. Who need it in Europe? With their trucks bring and potatoes? And Europe would not tolerate his dictatorship. So that Lukashenko simply had no choice. A Russian refers to it by the principle: "He's a son of a bitch, but our son of a bitch," turning a blind eye to internal problems of Lukashenko.
One of the compelling tools for the creation of an economic union in the territories of the former Soviet Union is the railway. Rather, it is not the road itself, and the rail network.
Armenia now officially enters the Eurasian Union. That is to say it becomes a new member. It all began with the Armenian railroad. The only vehicle of economic nature for Armenia is the railway. Using the fact that Russia is both a transit and cargoer for Armenian Railways tidied up in a group of "Armenian railway". Who carries out the management of the company, RZD, ie this company is led by specialists from Russia. The same pressure is carried out on all the railways of the former Soviet Union.
Cost-effective for all but Russia and Kazakhstan, a project to build a railroad from China to Kyrgyzstan managed to stop oil embargo threat. And this policy of pressure over the railway and developed Yakunin, and it is called "1520". And Mongolia has got into this space.
Russia's problems in Mongolia
Russia's main problem in Mongolia is solely the political structure Mongolia. Putin, as the sole leader of the country, which is concentrated all power in his hands, can not yet work with the Mongols. Mongolia - a parliamentary republic, and then has its own specifics.
Russia got repaid the debt under President Enkhbayar of Mongolia. He has promised a lot of things to Putin, but you do not re-elected. Now Enkhbayar in any case is in Korea being treated. Well, do not ask the same with the sick person, which promises to mine silver and uranium mines?
Then he decided that the most desired man - is the Prime Minister. And helped Bayar become prime minister. And he took it, and lied to the Oyu Tolgoi mine with. Too ill, fell from his horse and fled to the United States.
Then he took up the at-the-time popular H.Battulga. And that, in virtue of their stupidity, or rather greed ruined such a good combination. Well, more on that later.
"On the one hand, apparently, not enough good analysts Mongolia, on the other hand - the old Soviet habits interfere with the "big brother".
Russia's interests in Mongolia
How not cool, the entire infrastructure and industry of Mongolia was created by the Soviet Union. Even if some plants were built with the help of other brothers of the socialist camp, they were built on orders from Moscow. As the Czechs built a cement plant in the city of Darkhan or shoe factory in Ulan Bator.
Russia wants to become a world leader in the energy sector. And it all has to do this. Because of the technological gap Russia will not even try to compete in the market of solar panels and other areas of environmental energy. Russia is not necessary. She has both oil and gas, coal and uranium. That and are of importance.
From this list, Mongolia is the last two components, namely - coal and uranium. And here comes first vector of Russian interest in Mongolia.
Well, if you take the coal, Mongolia is directly threatened by the Russian coal exports.
It will be recalled that in the mid-90s, Russia was forced out of the European market by the Americans and funny to say - and Colombians. However, the Colombian coal then and now controlled by the Americans. And Russia was reoriented to a more promising market of the Asia-Pacific region. This is China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
Ever since the prime minister Fradkov, Russia tried to seize the coal industry of Mongolia. This is especially true Tavan Tolgoi. In 2007 it was officially declared the Russian interest in this field. But interest was just in control. Located close to China, this field carried a greater threat to the entire coal policy of Russia. It is the location, the quality of coal and the cost of goods sold were the deciding factors.
Here Putin made a bid to Yakunin and O.Derispasku. The first - a railway solutions, and the second - a coal magnate. Rather, more and coal magnate. As the Mongolian partner chose Battulga, ambitious politician, leader of the democratic union.
Rate through Yakunin was joining Tavan Tolgoi field to Trans-Mongolian Railway. Since Russia owns half of the shares of Mongolian railways - UBZhD - it automatically gave control of the mine.
You can remember how in 2010, Vladimir Yakunin, like a magician, sent a couple of compositions with the Mongolian coal from the station Choir to Nakhodka, implementing long-held dream of the Mongols on the way out to sea. So to speak, showed everyone that can RZD Vladimir Yakunin and personally.
A game by Deripaska was to acquire part or all of the most important coal deposits in Mongolia, including the Tavan Tolgoi. But here Mongolian politicians businessmen beat the Russians. The tidbit - Ukhaa Hudag - was given to a group of Mongolian companies under the general title "Energy Resource." And the other sections, it was decided to transfer to foreign companies. Then no matter how trying the Russians, nothing happened at all. Just did not give anything to anyone. That too was good Russians.
The main thing was to take control of the mine.
But then nimble guys from "Energy Resource" was almost confused all the cards and Yakunin, and Deripaska. They were able to find 700 million. Dollars for the construction of the railway. And our guys could not allow the existence of uncontrolled Russian railway from the mine to the Chinese border. This could break all the investment projects of the Russian coal industry.
Therefore, it was ordered to the right people in the government of Mongolia to stop the construction of the railway line. Well, here it is necessary to understand that not geopolitics Mongolia, not national security have some relation to the rail. It is necessary to take into account Russia's interests and everything goes.
A lot of materials on development of previously owned uranium deposits of the USSR. Neither the Canadians nor the French can not work in that direction. Mongolia - this is not the Niger, a country in Africa, where the French have long been working with uranium. That Russia can not allow that. In principle.
Well, we must remember that in Russia or Russian Geofunds is more material than in Mongolia itself. Need to remember this always.
Link to article (in Russian)