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SOCIETY Magazin 358

MONGOLEI BOTSCHAFTER H.E. Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan and Gerti Tauchhammer holding the „Gerege“, an ancient prototype of the modern diplomatic passport. Over 45 years of Austro-Mongolian relations Mongolia and the “Dirndl” In SOCIETY-Interview H.E. Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan, Ambassador of Mongolia, talks about the changes in his country since the break-up of the Soviet block and then the Soviet Union, democracy education, the country’s foreign policy, environmental problems and some pioneers of Austro-Mongolian relations. � Mongolia has a special geographical and geopolitical position in the world. It is the second largest landlocked country in the world, but with less than three million inhabitants, and it is “clamped” between two of the most powerful states in the world, China and Russia. What is the overall foreign policy of Mongolia? As we have only two neighbours (Russia and China), for us the strategy is, first and foremost, to maintain good relations with them. They are our main foreign policy pri- 16 | SOCIETY 2_11 ority, and have always been. But we don’t want to find ourselves in a situation comparable to a virtual ‘condominium’. So we try to reach out to other countries. This is known as our “third neighbour” policy. “Third neighbours” are primarily influential countries that would have a political, economical or strategic stake or interest in Mongolia. They are also influential international organizations. One cannot equate any country to a “third neighbour” except Russia and China, because there are many countries which might not have a direct interest in Mongolia. However, we consider any country as our potential partner of cooperation. What is in our immediate interest is to have, for example, the European Union as a major “third neighbour” or Japan or the USA. They are industrialized and have an interest in Mongolia politically or business-wise. What does Mongolia expect from the EU, Japan or the USA? We expect mainly sharing of experi-

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