1 CONSTRUCTION OF TAVANTOLGOI-GASHUUNSUKHAIT ROAD TO BE INTENSIFIED WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      2 OVER 30 MEASURES PLANNED FOR REDUCTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      3 MONGOLIA SAYS IT EARNS OVER 169 MLN USD FROM COAL EXPORTS TO CHINA IN JAN WWW.HELLENICSHIPPINGNEWS.COM  PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      4 RUSSIA’S GAZPROM TO START CHINA GAS PIPELINE BY DECEMBER 1 WWW.RT.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      5 MONGOLIA'S FOREIGN TRADE UP 41.6 PCT IN JAN. WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      6 EIGHT COMPANIES ANNOUNCE TO DISBURSE DIVIDENDS SO FAR WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      7 MONGOLIA'S PROSTITUTION ZONES, WHERE WOMEN TRADE SEX FOR FUEL IN SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES WWW.TELEGRAPH.CO.UK PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      8 MONGOLIA TO SUSPEND KFC OUTLETS FOR INQUIRY AFTER FOOD POISONING REPORTS WWW.CNBC.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      9 MIAT TO FLY BETWEEN ULAANBAATAR AND GUANGZHOU WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      10 NEW BOOK ABOUT MONGOL EMPIRE’S IMPACT ON ISLAM WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/20      УУХҮЯ: II САРЫН БАЙДЛААР НИЙТ НУТАГ ДЭВСГЭРИЙН 5.6 ХУВЬД АШИГТ МАЛТМАЛЫН ЛИЦЕНЗ ОЛГОСОН WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     300 ОРТОЙ ТӨРӨХ ЭМНЭЛГИЙН БАРИЛГЫН АЖИЛ 80%-Д ХҮРЧ ГУРАВДУГААР САРЫН 1-НЭЭС ДУЛААНД ХОЛБОГДОХООР БОЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     II/19-НИЙ ДОТОР 24 ХК НОГДОЛ АШИГ ОЛГОХТОЙ ХОЛБООТОЙ ШИЙДВЭРЭЭ ГАРГАЖ , СЗХ-НД ХҮРГҮҮЛСЭН БАЙНА WWWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ӨНГӨРСӨН САРД 23.9 МЯНГАН ЖУУЛЧИН ХҮЛЭЭН АВЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ЭРЧИМ ХҮЧНИЙ ИМПОРТ БУУРЧЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ТАТВАР ТӨЛДӨГ 191 МЯНГАН ААН-Н 95.9 ХУВЬ НЬ БИЧИЛ БИЗНЕС ЭРХЭЛДЭГ WWW.EAGLE.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     НИЙТ НУТГИЙН 70 ОРЧИМ ХУВЬ НЬ ЦАСТАЙ БАЙНА WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ХАНБОГД-ОЮУТОЛГОЙГ ХОЛБОСОН ЗАМЫН НЭЭЛТ БОЛЛОО WWW.GOGO.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/20     ЗГҮЦ-ЫН АНХДАГЧ ЗАХ ЗЭЭЛИЙН АРИЛЖАА МХБ-ИЙН ҮЙЛ АЖИЛЛАГААНЫ ОРЛОГО БУУРЧЭЭ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/19     “TEMASEK HOLDINGS” КОМПАНИ “TRQ” ДЭХ ЭЗЭМШЛИЙН ХУВИА 28 ХУВИАР БУУРУУЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/19    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

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Five Oil Signals to Watch in 2018 www.bloomberg.com

OPEC and its allies are heading into the second year of supply cuts to wipe out the global oil glut, while rising U.S. output is threatening those efforts. Geopolitical tensions also add a wild card to the market mix.

As oil watchers seek to plot a course through the year ahead, they’ll be paying close attention to signals ranging from timespreads to options contracts. Here are five key barometers to watch as 2018 unfolds:

1. The Shale Signal

WTI’s discount to Brent closed at its widest level in more than two years on Tuesday as an explosion at an oil pipeline in Libya boosted the global benchmark. That came after Hurricane Harvey kept supplies locked in the U.S. earlier in the year, providing the first trigger for a wider spread and bumper U.S. exports. With shale growth driving forecasts of record U.S. supply in 2018, that could lead to a further expansion in the spread. “If we get more shale and Canadian crude in the first half, and OPEC cuts hold, then it should widen,” said Richard Fullarton, founder of London-based commodity hedge fund Matilda Capital Management Ltd.

2. OPEC’s Bellwether

Brent crude surged into a bullish, backwardated structure this year as OPEC-led output cuts tightened global supplies. December 2018 futures climbed to their highest premium ever versus the same month for 2019 this week, and the spread may expand further as OPEC’s cuts drive the oil market toward balance next year, according to Abhishek Deshpande, head of oil research at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We are more comfortable with a balanced market to take a view of going long that spread,” said Deshpande.

3. Lottery Tickets

With geopolitical risks flaring in a host of major oil producers, funds have been busy snapping up bullish oil options contracts that would profit from a sharp spike in crude prices. The December 2018 $100 call remains the most-held Brent options contract, while $80 calls equating to more than 30 million barrels for the latter part of next year traded in recent weeks. Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia top the list of countries that could see oil-related disruptions in 2018, RBC Capital Markets LLC analysts including Helima Croft wrote earlier this month.

4. Volatility Vacuum

Despite those risks, volatility has plunged to the lowest in more than three years in recent weeks as a steady grind higher in prices took some of the fizz out of the oil market. With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries clearly signposting its plans for 2018, banks including Societe Generale SA expect to see a continued slide in volatility next year. “OPEC’s decision to proactively manage the market is going to keep volatility flat as a pancake,” Amrita Sen, chief oil market analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd., wrote earlier this month.

5. How Long?

The market is heading into 2018 near a record number of bullish bets in Brent and WTI combined, exchange data show. Those contracts, which now outstrip bearish ones by seven to one, have led to concerns that crude may soon see a speculator-driven slump. That bullish positioning has been “the largest bearish cross in my scorecards for the last several weeks,” said Torbjorn Kjus, chief oil analyst at DNB Bank ASA. What’s difficult is that “we don’t know the type of players. If they want to have a larger part of their assets in commodities for the next couple of years, then they’re not going to sell those positions.”

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Revenue of MIAT increases by 22% www.news.mn

In 2017, MIAT – Mongolia’s National Airline – has flown 16,200 hours of air travel, carrying 592,000 passengers on 2,003 flights on one local and nine international routes. Compared to the 2016 figures, the number of passengers carried has gone up by 20% and operating income has seen an increase of 22%.

MIAT in cooperation with Amadeus IT Group S.A. Company has upgraded its passenger service system to Amadeus Altea. MIAT Mongolian Airline and Cathay Pacific have implemented their new codeshare agreement, and this is providing significant growth opportunities for both airlines.

The company has been renting four new BOEING 737 MAX aircraft under trilateral agreement with the BOEING and AVOLON.

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First Group of North Korean Workers Leaves Mongolia Amid Sanctions www.rfa.org

The first group of North Korean workers earning foreign currency for the Kim Jong Un regime in Mongolia has returned home following sanctions brought in response to Pyongyang’s most recent nuclear test, according to sources, who said most of the remaining laborers will have left by early 2018.

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3 and claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb. Later that month, the United Nations’ Security Council adopted resolutions prohibiting any country from accepting North Korean workers in response to the test, and on Dec. 22 passed an additional resolution requiring North Korean workers abroad to return home within two years.

A source in Mongolia told RFA’s Korean Service Wednesday that Mongolian authorities had stopped issuing one-year visa renewals for North Korean workers, who mainly earn foreign currency in construction in the country, and said that a group of them had recently left on a train from the capital Ulaanbaatar.

“North Korean workers got on a Beijing-bound train in Ulaanbaatar not so long ago,” he said, referring to the capital of neighboring China, where the workers will transfer and continue their journey home by rail.

“It seems like the rest of the workers will be pulled out by early next year.”

It was not immediately clear how many North Korean workers had left in the group.

The source, who is familiar with foreign investment in Mongolia and spoke to RFA on condition of anonymity, said that Mongolian authorities had asked the North Korean workers to leave to ensure that Ulaanbaatar was in compliance with the U.N.

“Due to the U.N. resolution, Mongolian construction companies are not able to sign new contracts with North Korean workers,” he said.

“Mongolia is in need of large-scale foreign investment, and it wouldn’t be easy to bring in investors if there are North Korean workers in the country.”

‘Faithful and skillful’

Firms in Mongolia began hiring large numbers of workers from North Korea in 2008 amid a construction boom, and Ulaanbaatar and Pyongyang reached an agreement to send as many as 5,300 North Koreans there over the next five years.

But the number of North Koreans in Mongolia has dropped annually since a high of more than 2,100 in 2013, when the country began dealing with an economic crisis. As of November 2017, nearly 1,200 North Koreans were employed in Mongolia.

Construction firms prefer to hire North Koreans because they work long hours for little money, a source in Mongolia’s construction industry told RFA.

Their North Korean handlers also routinely forbid them from leaving the construction sites, where they sleep and eat, enduring poor living conditions.

“North Korea workers were popular at construction sites because they were faithful and skillful,” said the source, who also asked to remain unnamed.

“[The workers] were hoping they might be allowed to stay in Mongolia up until the last minute before they left.”

According to a U.N. estimate from September, around 100,000 North Koreans working abroad send some U.S. $500 million in earnings to Pyongyang annually.

Most of the workers are stationed in Russia and China, where they regularly work more than 12 hours per day for wages they see as little as 10 percent of, after the Kim regime takes its cut.

Other North Koreans in Mongolia find work in cashmere factories and as acupuncturists or practitioners of Korean traditional medicine.

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Research report released on the "Possibility of listing domestic commercial banks on the stock exchange" www.mse.mn

The Financial Stability Council held its regular meeting on 25 December 2017 at the Financial Regulatory Commission (FRC) and discussed the “Overview of Non-bank Financial Sector” and the research report on “Possibility of Listing Domestic Commercial Banks on the Stock Exchange” conducted by an independent research group.

The Council consists of the Governor of Bank of Mongolia, Minister of Finance and Chairman of the FRC. The primary objectives of the Council include safeguarding the financial stability of the markets by determining financial risks and managing them within the current laws and regulations.

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EBRD and EU support fruit juice producer in Mongolia www.ebrd.com

Mongolia has some of the harshest winters on earth. Its wildlife has adapted well to temperatures that can plummet below -40C – with cashmere goats, sheep and yak growing their well-renown dense layers of fur.

But for humans, this is a different story: it’s a climate where an extra vitamin boost can be vital to get through the long cold season.

This is Vitafit’s business: the family-owned company produces various fruit juices and dairy products – with success. It has expanded its product range significantly over the last ten years and is the only Mongolian producer able to compete with the global brands dominating the sector.

The EBRD has been a long-time partner supporting Vitafit’s growth. Several loans totalling US$ 16.9 million helped the company to modernise its equipment and build a new warehouse.

This meant that Vitafit could increase its capacity and at the same time offer new, high-quality products to Mongolian consumers.

Going global

“The EBRD’s support came at critical stages in our development when our business was ready to expand further,” said Bolorsaikhan Sodnom, Vitafit’s CEO. “The investments helped us not only to remain locally competitive, but they also allowed us to explore new opportunities for our goods on foreign markets.”

Vitafit’s Goy brand, for example, has developed a loyal following, not only in Mongolia, but increasingly across Asia. The seabuckthorn, blackcurrant and cranberry juice are now exported across Japan, South Korea and China.

“We also introduced some new dairy drinks and desserts in Mongolia to offer a more diverse range of products to our local customers,” he added.

This includes a new flavourful milk drink, various fruit yogurts and Pororo sirok, an icy curd with different fillings. The latter dessert has become particularly successful and a favourite among both youngsters and adults.

Strong local links

In the dairy sector, the company also sets new standards in Mongolia when it comes to obtaining raw milk and improving links between producers and suppliers.

Its representatives travel with specialised trucks to collect raw milk from herders, ensuring that the product travels in a sterile environment. They then deliver it to rural collection points for sterilisation.

This helps farmers to be less dependent on traders. It increases the milk quality, as it cuts down on inadequate transportation and reduces collection time for a perishable product, while ensuring at the same time better prices for the farmers.

The EBRD also matched the company with an expert consultant to help it establish a concrete vision for its business, good organisational structure, proper corporate governance and improved human resources and reward system.

“Our investment in Vitafit is a good‎ example of the EBRD’s continued efforts to support diversification of the Mongolian economy, which is one of the main Bank’s strategic objectives in the country,” explained Irina Kravchenko, Head of the EBRD’s Ulaanbaatar office.

“We support a full range of companies and projects to achieve this goal across the country – from wind farms to cashmere producers, electronics and engineering businesses to ice-cream makers.”

In total, the EBRD provides €52.7 million in investments to help develop small and medium-sized enterprises in Mongolia and the EU supports this project with €9.3 million in funding.

The two partners aim to provide these businesses with access to finance and know-how, while building a business environment conducive to investments in this vital market segment.

“This is an example of how the European Union and the EBRD carry out joint activities to support job creation and economic diversification in Mongolia. It is also an example of how we support SMEs in strengthening their corporate governance and Human Resources management. This benefits the company and its employees,” said Marco Ferri, Chargé d’Affaires of the European Union Delegation to Mongolia.

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Mongolian capital sees severe air pollution www.xinhuanet.com

ULAN BATOR, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Mongolian capital city of Ulan Bator on Wednesday saw solid particles in the air reaching dangerous levels, with the most-polluted area registering an amount almost 13 times above the safety level set by the World Health Organization (WTO).

There were "catastrophic pollution" at five locations in Ulan Bator, including the Bayankhoshuu slum district at 898 mg per cubic meter, and the Tolgoit slum district at 513 mg per cubic meter, according to the country's national agency for for meteorology and environment monitoring.
The city is no stranger to severe air pollution during winter in the past two decades, given its unfavorable meteorological conditions for pollutants to dissipate, and the heavy-dependence on coal in the large Ger areas surrounding the metropolitan region.
More than 800,000 residents, over half of Ulan Bator's population, live in Ger districts. Most of them came from provinces to find a job in the capital city of Mongolia.
Tight on money, some of them burn plastics and old tires to stay warm and to cook their meals during the long winter.
Since 2000, the Mongolian government, supported by various international organizations including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, has spent millions of dollars on programs to reduce air pollution.

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Centerra Gold halts mill operations in British Columbia due to lack of water www.mining.com

Canada's Centerra Gold (TSX:CG) issued a media statement where it explains that it had to suspend mill processing operations at its Mount Milligan copper-gold project in central British Columbia due to insufficient water resources. The stoppage is expected to last until the end of January 2018.

In reaction to the news, the miner's shares dropped by more than 10% to $6.5 in mid-morning trading.

Drier than normal conditions from March to August together with a limited amount of spring snowmelt resulted in lower than expected reclaim water volumes at the mine’s tailings storage facility. According to Centerra, the water shortage has been exacerbated by unanticipated extremely cold temperatures during the winter, which has resulted in a greater than expected loss of water volumes in the tailings pond due to ice formation.

Even though Mount Milligan’s staff recently drilled additional wells to draw water from nearby aquifers located within the property, the additional water obtained was not sufficient to offset the loss of water volumes due to difficult winter conditions.

“In addition, as a further, longer-term mitigation measure, the Company is pursuing an amendment to Mount Milligan’s Environmental Assessment (EA) to allow pumping of water from a nearby lake (Phillips Lake) and is applying for the additional related permits. It is expected that by the end of January 2018 there will be adequate fresh water available to restart mill processing operations utilizing just one of the ball mills (38,000 tpd to minimize water requirements). The Company expects that additional fresh water will become available after the spring melt, typically in April, at which time it expects to re-start the second ball mill returning mill processing operations to full capacity,” the press release reads.

The Toronto-based firm said that despite this situation, the mine itself, which has produced approximately 225,000 ounces of payable gold and approximately 54 million pounds of payable copper this year, will continue to expose, mine and stockpile additional ores for future processing.

Resource estimates at Mount Milligan are of 5.8 million ounces of gold and 2.1 billion pounds of copper in proven and probable reserves.

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Herders to receive benefit amounted to MNT 22.4 billion www.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ As of December, 2017, herders sold a total of 20111 kg wool to domestic manufactures and 86465 herders are eligible to receive incentive amounted to MNT 22.4 billion. 

Members of herder cooperatives and citizens with livestock receive monetary incentives for wool of sheep and camel, if they supply the raw materials to national factories, according to a Parliamentary resolution of 2011 and Government resolution of 2015.

Regarding this year, herders can get fodder instead of monetary incentives through the Livestock Conservation Fund, addressing to Veterinary and Animal Breeding Departments of aimags, capital city and soums.

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December 27, 2017 trading report www.mse.mn

On December 27, 2017, 1,018,081 shares of 28 firms listed as Tier I, II, and III were traded. 5 companies’ shares increased in price while those of 21 companies decreased and 2 companies unchanged. Nogoon Khogjil Undesnii Negdel /JLT +14.98%/ and Jinst Uvs /JIV +14.97%/ were the top performers whereas Uvs Chatsargana JSC /CHR/ was the worst performer, decreasing 13.49 percent.

On the secondary market for block trading for shares, 219,330 bonds were traded for the value of MNT410.1 million.

The MSE ALL Index decreased by 1.09 percent to reach 1,106.70 points. The MSE market cap stands at MNT2,359,141,729,240.

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Mongolia’s Modernizing Military www.thediplomat.com

Mongolia’s land-based military has faced many modernizing challenges and opportunities throughout history. The ancient Mongol army, like other great armies, whether the Greeks, Romans, or Ottomans, had its strengths and weaknesses, its historical glories and bruises. When discussing the modernization of Mongolia’s military today, a number of historical aspects remain crucial in shaping military principles, core values, and social influences. These historical aspects link to the fundamental changes, progress, and sometimes regressions of Mongolian military affairs and military diplomacy.

At its peak, the empire of the Mongols stretched from eastern Europe to eastern Siberia and the Korean Peninsula, connecting and bridging cultures, societies, and ideologies. When the Mongol army conquered new areas, it provided the empire with a modernizing opportunity: to gain access to new goods and services, exotic cultures and societies, and, most importantly, access to new military equipment, tactics, and strategies. The Mongols used traditional nomadic weaponry for centuries. The mastering of horsemanship, archery, and the introduction of steel and hooked lances were all part of the modernization of the ancient Mongol military.

Meanwhile, the Mongol conquests of Marv, Balkh, Bukhara, Samarkand, Kashgar, Turpan, Khotan, and many more capitals during the 13th century increased ethnic and cultural diversity under the Mongol empire. This historical interconnectedness paved the way for modern Mongolia to pursue political, economic, and military diplomacy with countries around the world.

In addition to Mongolia’s traditional military principles, Mongolia’s relationship with neighbor Russia became the main source of learning, technology, weapons, and strategies. From Russia, Mongolia learned both the positive and negative aspects of a top-down military structure and military institutionalization. Russia-Mongolia military ties grew strong during Mongolia’s struggle against the Qing dominance in 1911, but improved significantly during World War II. During the war, the Japanese invasion of Inner Mongolia and Manchuria allowed Stalinist Russia and Mongolia to strengthen their military ties while combating Japanese expansion in East Asia. It was the Mongolian army that supplied the Russians with horses, wool, and furs during its winter wars. Accordingly, on the 72nd anniversary of “Victory Day” on May 7, 2017, the Russian government built a large bronze war horse monument commemorating the Mongolian war horses. Mongolia’s involvement in World War II modernized its military capabilities, despite its Soviet satellite state status.

When looking at the modernization of Mongolia’s military and its social impacts, we must analyze both its foreign and domestic contributions. At home, the Mongolian military has a great responsibility to build infrastructure, schools, and hospitals. In a way, the military bridges the gap between government and civilians by constructing the necessary pieces of a modern society.

The National Center for Emergency and Disaster Relief is an important part of the military. According to the government’s official portal, through the NCEDR the military serves as first-responders for earthquakes, wildfires, and forest fires; contagious diseases; and snow and dust storms as well as severe winters (known as zud). The National Center for Emergency and Disaster Relief’s programs have produced humanitarian medics and construction engineers who build schools, hospitals, and emergency centers, especially in rural areas like Gobi-Altai, Bayan-Ulgii, and Orkhon provinces.

Despite these duties at home, Mongolia’s military is also active abroad. Mongolia’s foreign policy objectives coupled with military diplomacy have played a fundamental role in augmenting military relations with a number of countries. Mongolia’s involvement in international missions and peacekeeping operations reflect Mongolia’s historical and contemporary principles and core values. Supporting, advocating, and actively contributing to world peace is also part of the military modernization process.

According to Colonel T. Narankhuu, Mongolia’s defense and military attache to the Embassy of Mongolia in Washington D.C, “As of now, Mongolia has military diplomacy [relationship] with the U.S., Japan, Germany, and 30 other countries and has a close military-technology accord with Russia, China, Turkey, Ukraine, and Belarus.”

Since 2001, the Mongolian military has been involved in the American-led coalition’s counterterrorism efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to First Lt. Mark Larson, writing from the 10th Division in Kabul, “The Mongolians, for certain, provide the most extraordinary example of international support. That Mongolia — a landlocked country of just three million people, nearly half of whom still lead a nomadic life — provides any aid at all to the international force is remarkable.” In 2006, Mongolia became the first country to host a multinational military training in the Northeast Asia region, the U.S.-supported “Command Post Exercise and Field Training Exercise with Global Peace Operations Initiative (GOI).”

Mongolia also helps protect women and children from armed militias through UN Peacekeeping Operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). According to the 2016 Ranking of Military and Police Contribution to UN Operations report, Mongolia ranks 30th out of 123 countries with 950 peacekeepers operating in MENA countries.

Mongolian peacekeepers in MENA countries have been recognized by the international community; more than 850 Mongolian peacekeepers, stationed in South Sudan, were awarded the UN Medal in May 2017. Earlier, in March 2017, Srg. T.Buyanzul and O. Tsend-Ayush, from the Mongolian Battalion, saved a 2-year-old Sudanese boy from a war zone. Following this case, in July 2017, 22 armed men made an attempt to break into the refugee camps and were caught by Mongolian peacekeepers. These cases illustrate both the modernization of Mongolia’s military as a whole and its contribution to the global peace.

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