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Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar Subjected to Moscow’s Energy Arm Twisting

A surge in car ownership has come to Ulaanbaatar; so has dependence on Russian fuel. (Photo: Pearly Jacob)

A shortage of Russian-supplied fuel is underscoring Mongolia’s dependency on its giant neighbor. Some experts and officials in Ulaanbaatar are now sounding like European Union leaders in Brussels in publicly speaking out about a need to reduce their country’s energy reliance on Russia.

The Mongolian shortage first hit in May after Moscow, citing domestic shortages, raised duties on fuel exports by over 40 percent. Because Mongolia sources over 90 percent of its fuel from Russia, some gas stations were forced to ration out fuel to customers. Prices almost doubled overnight. Many observers suspected the Kremlin was playing a game that it has carefully honed over the years – using energy policy and exports to coerce economic and political concessions from vulnerable, neighboring states.

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Pearly Jacob is a freelance journalist based in Ulaanbaatar.

Mongolia: Ulaanbaatar Subjected to Moscow’s Energy Arm Twisting

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