Mongolian president opens Russia visit with trip to largely Buddhist region in Siberia

Other News Materials 4 December 2006 18:39 (UTC +04:00)

(Associated Press) - Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar opened his trip to Russia on Monday with a visit to Buryatia, the largely Buddhist region of Siberia bordering on his country, Russian news agencies reported.

Enkhbayar and the president of Buryatia, Leonid Potapov, discussed possible joint projects in mining, construction and tourism, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

"The potential for cooperation between the two countries border regions is vast," Enkhbayar was quoted as saying, reports Trend.

From Ulan-Ude, the Buryat capital, Enkhbayar was due to travel to Novosibirsk, the Buddhist region of Kalmykia and Moscow, where he is scheduled to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin on Friday. The Mongolian leader said that energy and military cooperation would be on the agenda in his talks with Russian officials, the Kommersant daily reported.

A former Soviet satellite, Mongolia is now a U.S. ally and has sent troops to Iraq. Last November, George W. Bush made the first visit to the country by a serving U.S. president.