Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

USA deeply concerned about Russia’s interest in uranium-rich Mongolia

Another “orange revolution” started in another country which borders on Russia. This time it goes about Mongolia. When the communist regime collapsed in the country in 1991, everyone forgot about the nation which is located between Russia and China. However, silence has been broken with massive riots in the capital of Mongolia, Ulan Bator.

The parliamentary elections, which took place in Mongolia on June 29, became the apple of discord. The ruling Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP), which follows the communist legacy, announced its victory in the elections before the results of the voting were actually announced. The leaders of the party claimed that they had a full right to form the new government of the country.

The Mongolian opposition in the face of local democrats and republicans disagreed with such a state of affairs. Thousands of people took to the streets to protest against MPRP’s self-will. The situation went out of control at night of July 1 when the opposition blocked traffic in the center of Ulan Bator.

The riots in the city started with a provocative speech delivered by the leader of the opposition Democratic Party. The former prime minister of the nation, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, accused the “revolutionaries” of fabricating the voting results. The official demanded the results should be revised.

A crowd of oppositionists, who had already taken enough alcohol, headed to the MPRP’s headquarters. Some of the people started throwing petrol bombs and rocks at the building. The crowd broke through the police cordons and entered the building.

It is worthy of note that the MPRP, the former communist party, came to power in Mongolia because of the economic crisis in the nation. In 2006, the party accused the old administration of its inability to fight against corruption and poverty. The party ruined the coalition with democrats and became the ruling power of Mongolia.

The Wall Street Journal wrote on the threshold of the Mongolian elections on June 24 that the ruling Revolutionary Party might lose the elections to the Democratic Party of Mongolia.

USA’s major media outlets started paying a lot of their attention to Mongolia recently. For example, The Washington Post published an article in its June 25 issue about Russia’s interest in Mongolian natural resources.

The article said that Washington was interested in developing cooperation with Mongolia – a large supplier of uranium. US journalists acknowledged that the ongoing growth of oil prices made the USA look for alternative sources of energy, nuclear sources, first and foremost.

The authors of the article expressed their concerns about Russia’s influence in the eastern hemisphere. The article particularly said that Russia had been concentrating its attention on such remote areas as Mongolia, the country that used to be dependent on the USSR.

Mongolia is rich in minerals, including coal, copper and uranium. Its deposits may bring up to 1.3 million tons of uranium. The nation is also rich in its tungsten and molybdenum reserves.

World’s uranium reserves were estimated as follows as per 2006: Australia – 27 percent, Kazakhstan – 17 percent, Canada – 15 percent, South Africa – 11 percent, Namibia – 8 percent, Brazil – 7 percent, Russia – 5 percent and the USA and Uzbekistan with 4 percent each. Mongolia used to close the top ten of world’s uranium countries. Nowadays, Mongolia takes the third position on the list.

Mongolian Prime Minister Sanjaagiin Bayar and President Nambariin Enkhbayar visited Moscow in April and May of the current year. Apparently, the visits gave US journalists a reason to believe that Russia was going to reach the Mongolian resources again.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that the Russian business already owns 49 percent of shares of the Mongolian railways and nation’s largest copper-smelting and gold-mining industries.

The US administration is also concerned about Russia’s intention to build a nuclear reactor in Mongolia. To crown it all, the Russian Defense Ministry has established long-term cooperation with Mongolia.

The USA is also concerned about the activities of the Mongolian Navy, which the nation possesses without having the sea outlet. US journalists believe that Mongolian vessels may perform doubtful trips to North Korea and Syria transporting forbidden cargoes.

The Washington Post’s article ends with a remarkable conclusion. The author wrote that America must do something about Mongolia because time is not waiting.

The Wall Street Journal concluded that Mongolia may turn into an economic satellite of Putin’s Russia.

The competition for the natural wealth has become one of the key aspects of the global struggle for resources, which is a peculiar feature of the 21st century. Russia is busy with strengthening its influence in the underdeveloped Mongolia. US journalists are certain that the West should be concerned about it.

It is worthy of note that the US media mirrors the sentiments of the general public and the political administration in the United States.

Sergei Balmasov

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