Continuities and Contradictions: Mongolia, Russia, and the Belt and Road Initiative, Again

Authors: Marissa Smith*,
Topics: Political Geography, Eurasia, Natural Resources
Keywords: geopolitics, Eurasia, borderlands, infrastructure
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper considers developments of Mongolian mineral policy since the election of President Kh. Battulga and a resurgence of dialogue with Russia situating Mongolia as a broker of Russian-Chinese relations. Given the substantial nature of Mongolia and Russia’s interconnectedness due to the construction of physical and social infrastructures during and since the late socialist period, these dialogues are more than fleeting, situational political posturing. However, the “on the ground” activity has, at least to some degree, been in some ways contradictory to the vision of a Mongolia-Russia-China Corridor linking up with the Belt and Road Initiative (or not). The paper will give a detailed analysis and comparison of talks and agreements between Mongolia and Russia at the Eastern Economic Forums held in Vladivostok in recent years and the physical and social infrastructural changes underway at Erdenet, the historic Mongolian-Russian joint mining enterprise, as well as new oil production and refining projects.

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