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Russia, Mongolia Sign New Treaty To Bring Partnership To 'Whole New Level'

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga in Ulan Bator on Mongolia on September 3.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Mongolian counterpart, Khaltmaagiin Battulga, have signed a permanent treaty on friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership during the Russian leader's visit to the East Asian country.

The document inked on September 3 in Mongolia's capital, Ulan Bator, builds on the existing 1993 Treaty of Friendly Relations and Cooperation.

Relations between the two neighbors "have risen to a whole new level of comprehensive strategic partnership," Battulga said during the signing ceremony.

The Russian leader said the new treaty "reflects mutual commitment to bringing interaction to a higher level and addresses major long-term tasks Russia and Mongolia are facing."

Russia "is traditionally a reliable energy supplier for Mongolia," Putin said, pointing out that Russian state oil company Rosneft "provides most of the country's demand for oil products."

Putin late on September 2 arrived in Ulan Bator, where he also took part in commemorating the 80th anniversary of the two countries' combined victory over Japanese forces on August 20-September 16, 1939, along the Khalkhin Gol River.

In an interview published on the Kremlin’s website ahead of his visit, the Russian president said that victory "was one of the reasons why Japan didn’t attack the Soviet Union in 1941 and it delayed its entry into World War II."

Putin told Mongolian newspaper Odriyn Sonin that infrastructure projects would be high on the agenda of his trip, including for the state-run Russian Railways company to upgrade the Ulan Bator Railway.

"This is an important transportation artery for Mongolia," he said.

"Today, Russian-Mongolian cooperation is comprehensive and multilateral, and covers the political, trade, economic, investment, financial, agricultural, scientific, educational, cultural, and sports areas," Putin said.

According to the Kremlin, bilateral trade between Russian and Mongolia last year increased by 21 percent over the previous year to reach $1.65 billion. In the first six months of this year, trade jumped by 11 percent to $800 million.

Putin previously visited Mongolia in November 2000 and September 2014.

Following his latest visit to the country, Putin flew to Russia's Far Eastern Russian port city of Vladivostok to attend the annual Eastern Economic Forum, which will run from September 4 to September 6.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax
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