Mongolia asks Russia to build 1,500km of roadway

MOSCOW, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - Mongolia has asked its neighbor Russia to build 1,500km (about 930 miles) of road in the country and may offer a mineral resource deposit as payment, the Russian transportation minister said Friday.

Igor Levitin met with Mongolian Road, Transportation and Tourism Minister Tsegmid Tsengel to discuss joint plans for developing air routes and building roads, the ministry said.

The minister's press secretary said, "Mongolia invited Russia to contribute to the construction of 1,500km of road in Mongolia. Payment by Mongolia could be in the form of credit, guaranteed by the Mongolian government; alternatively, the handing over of a mineral resource deposit to Russia could be considered."

Svetlana Kryshtanovskaya said the ministers also discussed the development of the two countries' joint venture Ulan Bator Rail.

"Levitin said it would be sensible to lease the rail network on a long-term contract to a Russian or foreign company," the press secretary said.

Russia has historically maintained strong economic ties with Mongolia. The Soviet Union was the country's main trade partner, accounting for most of Mongolia's fuel and medicine imports, and played a key role in developing the country's infrastructure.

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