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http://zgm.mn/post/2124/

PM2.5 in air increases by 15 percent yoy in February

NSO reports increased particulate matters in the air

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http://zgm.mn/post/2124/


Air quality in Ulaanbaatar is measured at 15 locations such as in ger areas, roads, residential areas, and industrial districts. The statistics of February 2019 were presented by the National Statistical Office and the results are showing increasing particulate matters in the air.

The average concentration of pollutants in Ulaanbaatar during February 2019 compared to the same period of the previous year is as follows:

● PM2.5 particles increased by 15 percent to 0.016 mg/m3,

● PM10 particulate matter increased by 24.4 percent to 0.038 mg/m3,

● SO2 sulfuric acid increased by 0.012 mg/m3 to 33.5 percent

● NO2 nitrogen dioxide decreased by 27.4 percent to 0.016 mg/m3.The largest increase in sulfuric gas (SO2) means that “People with asthmatic bronchitis are more vulnerable to sulfur dioxide when they do physical work.

Largest increase observed in sulfuric acid in the air, which is harmful to people with asthma.

The main effect narrows the respiratory tract and the symptoms are coughing and breathing with difficulty. Sulfur dioxide results in physiological reactions such as sneezing and coughing. If the negative effects stop, lung function will be normal within an hour.” “Chronic sulfur dioxide affects respiratory illness, reduces lung protection mechanisms, and chronic cardiovascular disease. People with chronic cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease, and children and the elder people are vulnerable to chronic exposure”, warned authorities.

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Former President Enkhbayar Nambar calls for terminating Oyu Tolgoi contract

Former President denounces OT claiming it fraud

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The third President of Mongolia Enkhbayar Nambar has made a special guest appearance on the “Uncensored Talk” program of C1 Television channel. Among the range of discussions, one particular topic raised a public resentment as the former President displayed enmity towards the Oyu Tolgoi (OT) agreement, claiming it a fraud. The public has been criticizing the late President for intentionally slandering the major international-level investment that was established under the Law of Mongolia at an instruction of certain people.

Mr. Enkhbayar told the show, “The OT agreement was established because the then-Prime Minister Bayar Sanjaa persisted on concluding the deal. I, on the other hand, was an outcast in the National Security Council. But the council’s decision required a 100 percent vote to be valid. We were unable to conclude the OT agreement because I was against it. Therefore, they had only one option of ousting me for the agreement. I lost the election in 2009 and later in October, the OT agreement was effective immediately.”

“Only a single structural change was made in the National Security Council at the time. The then Parliament Speaker Demberel Damdin and Prime Minister Bayar Sanjaa were still in office. The only adjustment was that Elbegdorj Tsakhia was in place of Enkhbayar Nambar. The OT agreement was ratified without an obstacle at once that year,” said the former President, expressing strict opposition against the project.

The OT ’s total cashspent in Mongolia totaled USD 8.7 billion in 2018

The Government of Mongolia, Ivanhoe Mines, and Rio Tinto signed the deal in 2009 with the Mongolian Government holding 34 percent stake of the OT.

The public agrees that the OT arrangement was the best deal for Mongolia’s long-term sustainable development, future prosperity, and financing upcoming achievements. Over the last decade, a massive new era of mining investment has begun in the Gobi desert in Mongolia. Out of them, the largest and most succesful project is the Oyu Tolgoi. The company is now the biggest taxpayer in Mongolia and its impact on the country’s economy is already visible. For instance, the OT expended USD 6.5 billion in investment and operational costs between 2010 and 2013, while Mongolia’s gross domestic product stood at USD 11.1 billion with total revenue of USD 2.7 billion in 2016.

The OT’s total cash spent in Mongolia totaled USD 8.7 billion in 2018. Furthermore, the company paid USD 322 million on taxes, fees, and other payments, USD 439 million on national procurement last year, and is employing over 17,000 workers as of today. The OT also continues to lead internationally with its operational safety and increased its copper and gold output in 2018, overperforming their production plan.

In addition, the business community has expressed concern over potential harm of such populist statements to the future of the project, which will ultimately drive out investors that are interested in Mongolia and tarnish the country’s reputation among foreign investors.

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Standing committee passes bills on foreign loans

Standing Committee on Budget discusses agreements with international organizations

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Parliamentary Standing Committee on Budget discussed the bill on the Government’s rights to draw loans from foreign countries and international organizations, and passed the General Financing Program between the Government of Mongolia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the draft amendment on the general agreement and conditions between the Mongolian Government and the Government of the Republic of Poland.

The Government has negotiated with the ADB to cooperate on finance, agriculture, education, health, and agriculture in 2017-2020. In this context, USD 334 million will be allocated to Mongolia. The fund will be used in five projects including vegetables, border services, irrigation, regional roads, and free economic zones.

Plus, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) offered to grant loans up to USD 300 million. The loan will have a maturity of 10-16 years with a moratorium of three years. Up until today, the EBRD has invested 99 projects that amount to EUR 1.6 billion and the financing of this project was directed entirely towards private sectors.

However, Mongolia will use the current loan to build the road from Darkhan to Ulaanbaatar. The road will have four lanes and two lanes will be constructed by the ADB and the remaining two lanes will be built by the EBRD. The spending of remaining funds is still unclear, but the Finance Minister Khurelbaatar Chimed said that the total amount of fund will USD 300 million.

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Parliament’s irregular session opens

Order list includes tax package, procurement and minerals laws

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The Parliamentary irregular session commenced with 81.3 percent attendance yesterday.

Reading the final wording of the bills that were adopted at the end of the fall session, including the revision to mining exploitation fee, tax package, and replacement of several authorities of law enforcers, Parliament Speaker Zandanshatar Gombojav remarked, “The 2018 fall session of the Parliament has been interrupted for a while. The irregular session is starting due to piled up bills on the order list that need to be resolved immediately. In terms of natural resources and territory, Mongolia is one of the leading countries; however one out of three people are poor. For instance, the debt pressure that will come in the next few years is likely to affect the economic security of the country. Since the social transformation in 1990, Mongolia has been hit by a crisis due to the irresponsibility of authorities and uncoordinated laws and regulations. Therefore, it is time to unite and consolidate our power for Mongolia.”

He then called for Parliament members to cooperate in three directions:

“First, to strengthen Parliamentary governance and implement reforms. Implementing the provisions of procedure rule on improving the discipline and accountability of Parliament members is unique for this session. In addition, a working group responsible for revising the procedure rule, introducing international standards, and revising the Parliament’s strategic plan, has been established. Secondly, to amend the Constitution. Parliament is in charge of ensuring equality of state power by adding amendments to the Constitution, ensuring the independence of the judiciary, and conducting administrative and territorial reforms. They will discuss it at the spring session. Thirdly, implementing parliamentary oversight functions. The lack of parliamentary oversight has led to a Government crisis; thus, it is important that we ensure human rights and justice,” addressed Mr. Zandanshatar.

At the Irregular Session, the Parliament Speaker has ordered to discuss the following bills.

• General Tax; 

• Corporate Income Tax; 

• Personal Income Tax; 

• Procurement of Goods, Works, and Services from State and Local Funds; 

• Minerals; 

• Appointment of the General Staff of the Armed Forces; 

• Consent to the deputies of the General Prosecutor General; 

• Appointment of the Head and Deputy Head of the Independent Authority Against Corruption.

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Ulaanbaatar’s standpoint on Trump-Kim Summit

Xi Jinping is preventing the two countries from merging into one

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The only remainder of the long-persisting conflict after the Cold War is the North Korean peninsula. The war ended in 1953, but no peace agreement was concluded in this particular region for 66 years. This pitiful scene makes me wonder why they collected so many soldiers and weapons in such a small area.

Kim Jong-un’s achievement

The second summit of the North Korea-U.S leaders did not bring expected results, leaving the world in mistrust. Trump's plan to have faith in Kim and perform a political show has failed this time. North Korea shut its door on the U.S because Trump had promised to flourish capitalism in the northern part of the Korean peninsula, which means their social institution (70 years of uncompromising labor), communist ideology, and the great power of Kim would be denied. It may just be because the "communist capitalist" Vietnam, which had been under war for a long time, was chosen for the venom to be seen as a living example to demotivate North Koreans. The world was left with a question if Vietnam induced North Korea that it is possible to develop a market economy and liberate a market under the strict control of a communist party.

It is unfortunate that Ulaanbaatar was not selected as the venue for the North Korea - U.S summit. Initially, when the officials of the two sides were holding a secret meeting, North Korea proposed to host the summit in Pyongyang, but the U.S did not accept it. It was reported that Mongolia and its capital Ulaanbaatar was selected as the best possible option for the meeting.
It is easy to explain why Ulaanbaatar was not selected as the venue. The current air and environmental pollutions, political instability, corruption of its authorities, weak financial discipline, poverty, and frustration of Ulaanbaatar are the key downside factors. We can invite anyone, but we need to be diligent and patient. I hope it would be a reminder to us.

I want to praise Kim Jong-un. His autobiography is not uncommon, but also very ordinary. If you try to write a CV, it will not even fill a page. He is not well known in the world except his two meeting with  Trump and a few visits to China.

And the main thing to praise is that this young leader is the one who wrote his name on Korean history by fulfilling his father and grandfather's dream to make a straightforward deal with the United States.

The scandal around the first summit

The whole world paid attention to the day that Trump and Kim's meeting took place on June 12, 2018. During this meeting, many countries including Russia, Japan, South Korea were disappointed for being left out. It is because the nuclear bomb issue of North Korea has to involve more than 6 countries.

The meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump was unbelievable for Russia. It was not because Russia was outside from the geopolitical games, the reason was that they do not know well  about North Korea’s history, the leader's viewpoint, and managing technique. Russian publishers were still writing the dark side of North Korea only. The research of North Korea is very developed in Russia and I was part of this in 1992-1993, so believe me, my perspectives have accuracy.

The entire world except Russia was joyful, assuming Kim Jong-un actually banned the nuclear weapon program. Russian websites were warning Kim not to repeat Muammar Al Gaddafi’s pitiful destiny in 2018. Also, there was a question of “What is the cost of this surrender?”. Russia wondered why North Korea compromised even though it cost a lot of power, money, and capital in order to make rocket-fired nuclear weapons.

In general, Russians are making logical conclusions that being helped by the western countries will completely destroy a country's social regime.

North’s further actions

Two Koreas have worked together with the United States and China in hopes to end the Korean War of the 1950s and establish constant peace and stability. Steady and persistent peace cannot be established, but the first steps were already made. Stages of the weaponry and warfare have discontinued, the two countries stopped their hostile activities, renewed their borders, established border crossings, and sought to seek multilateral negotiations. The world is waiting for the opening of the railroad and the road connecting the two Koreas.

• We can invite anyone, but we need to be diligent and patient. 

• The meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump was unbelievable for Russia. 

• Russian authorities and researchers predicted that China will not be happy with the integration.

The South Korean President Moon Jae-in was in the right direction. According to the Russian press, “The participants had a very good performance on the crowd, and the main form of advertisement was shown”. Some Russian publications were writing that the Russian-Chinese issue was likely to arise as a result of the Korean peninsula dispute.

According to the Russians, the Chinese leader Xi Jinping is preventing the two countries from merging into one. If Kim and Trump become comrades, they will create a new“communist capitalist Korea” in the north and confiscate their weapons, but that weapon is an instrument necessary for holding the United States. Although Pyongyang's leader is difficult to read, he listens to what Beijing says. Once in the past, China has fought for North Korea's independence and has suffered a great deal. Therefore, the Russian authorities and researchers predicted that China will not be happy with the integration.

If Westerners use their money to stop nuclear weapon proliferation, China will pay more money than they could. It will be enough for China to abolish the sanctions against Pyongyang.

Moreover, Russians are worried about what will happen next. It is good for two Koreas to have a network as much as possible. It is a waiver for war. If it is overtaken by the West and rescind China’s political support, the process will turn very easily. North and South Koreas’ overwhelming relation will  doubt the U.S, and its faith will decline.

Consider the statement of Russian press about Trump changing his position and views three times a day, which will directly affect the Korean issue. When the reservoir is canceled, the South's investment will start to crush and start integration. It means North Korea's USD 3 trillion mineral wealth, mine, and a huge workforce that is efficient to the South will be in circulation. However, in the Chinese experience, perestroika must be done so as to not imitate the Soviet Union

If China's reforms are made in the DPRK, Russia will have a lot of opportunities. No Korean railway project can be implemented without Russia. If Russia and China take part in North Korea's "perestroika", the West will not take the lead.