CSTO Membership, Change in SCO Observer Status Not on Mongolia’s Agenda

Moscow, June 1 (Agency) Mongolia does not plan to join the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) or change its observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Foreign Minister Battsetseg Batmunkh told Sputnik. “The concept of national security of our country stipulates that our country will not participate in any military-political organizations if there is no direct threat to our security from other countries. Fortunately, we are not being threatened, we have no direct threats. So we have no need to join military-political organizations such as the CSTO,” Battsetseg explained.

The minister added that Mongolia is also satisfied with its observer at the SCO, which is regarded by the country as one of the channels for establishing cooperation with Central Asia. “SCO participants are offering us to increase the level of our participation, they are offering to become a permanent member of this organization … In recent years, our researchers, scientists, people who make government decisions have held a massive public discussion of this issue and came to the conclusion that maintaining the current status within the organization is optimal,” Battsetseg told Sputnik. Commenting on bilateral relations with Russia, the minister said that Mongolia is interested in Russian investments in the country’s coal industry.