Following his participation in the Group of Seven (G7) Leaders’ Summit held in Japan, President Emmanuel Macron paid a visit to Mongolia. During a joint press conference with Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga on the 21st, Macron stated, “We have decided to work together to enhance our energy sovereignty through the critical metals supplied by your country, which possesses such resources.” Battulga referred to France as Mongolia’s “third neighbor.”
Macron further emphasized that Mongolia’s existing partnership with French nuclear group Orano SA would be crucial for the development of critical metal mining. The two countries are set to collaborate in the fields of renewable energy and nuclear power. It is reported that the Orano Group is currently involved in uranium mining projects in Mongolia.
According to Reuters, nearly 80% of Mongolia’s exports are directed towards China. As a resource-rich country, Mongolia aims to expand its trade and mining partnerships beyond its two neighboring countries, China and Russia. Mongolia aspires to become a bridge connecting Europe and Asia.
The French Presidential Office issued a statement expressing that Macron’s visit aims to promote relations between France and Mongolia, particularly in the fields of environment, agriculture, food industry, and reducing Mongolia’s reliance on China and Russia.
Bloomberg reports that the European Union (EU) is striving to ensure access to resources crucial for its clean energy and digital transformation, such as lithium for electric vehicle batteries. Additionally, the EU seeks to reduce dependence on a small number of supply countries, including China. The report mentions that Macron is the second European head of state to visit Mongolia this year, following Polish President Andrzej Duda’s visit in April.