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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 9, RIA NOVOSTI - Igor Ivanov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, will visit Mongolia, January 13-14, to meet at the negotiation table with President Natsagiin Bagabandi, Prime Minister Nambaryn Enhbayar, and Luvsagiin Erdenechulum, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    The visit will certainly promote commerce and other bilateral economic ties, a functionary of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said to Novosti.

    Russian-Mongolian contacts were at a standstill in the early 1990s. They are reviving now, thanks to reciprocal efforts. Trade and other economic contacts are making good progress. The bilateral trade turnover increased by 50% within the preceding three years, and is roughly estimated at US$300 million for last year, said our informant.

    He does not see whatever economic problems between the two countries. They recently made a stride forward by settling Mongolian debts to Russia, he added.

    While on visit, Mr. Ivanov will discuss protection of Russian entrepreneurial interests in Mongolia. It presently has close to 300 joint ventures. Notable among them are the Erdenet ore-dressing combine, the Mongolrostsvetmet non-ferrous metal works, and the Ulan Bator Railway. These three account for an approximate 20% of Mongolia's entire gross domestic product.

    An agreement on Erdenet performance was prolonged, last July, thanks to Russian efforts. Now is high time to update the legal bases of the two other mammoths, said our interviewee.

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