Putin Tests Ally: Are They Veering Towards the U.S?

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.10 - 2024 2:22 PM CET

Foto: TV
Foto: TV
Amidst escalating geopolitical tensions, Putin sends a stern warning to Mongolia as signs of a U.S. pivot emerge.

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When Vladimir Putin scrutinizes a key ally suspected of playing both sides, the international stage pays attention.

Recent reports from Chinese journalists suggest that Mongolia, a longtime Russian partner, may be inching towards the U.S., prompting a strategic recalibration by Russia.

Shifting Allegiances?

For years, Mongolia has been a steadfast neighbor to Russia, collaborating on numerous economic initiatives including the significant "Power of Siberia — 2" gas pipeline, which is set to channel Russian gas to China through Mongolian territory.

However, recent developments have sparked concern in both Moscow and Beijing.

According to Sohu, U.S. efforts to forge stronger ties with Mongolia are intensifying, with strategies ranging from signing memorandums on critical mineral resources to potentially establishing a U.S. military base on Mongolian soil.

A considerable number of Mongolian officials have received education in American institutions.

The United States has also been active in funding educational and cultural exchange programs in Mongolia, increasing its influence through soft power. This gradual shift raises questions about Mongolia's future geopolitical stance.

Amid these developments, Putin's response was to signal a potential pivot in Russia's strategy.

The suggestion of an alternative gas pipeline route through Kazakhstan, bypassing Mongolia, serves as a direct message to Ulaanbaatar about the importance of its loyalty.

Mongolia's Crucial Decision

The revelation of the alternative pipeline route should serve as a wake-up call for Mongolia. With significant transit fees at stake, Mongolia faces a pivotal choice in its international alliances. The country's leadership must now navigate a complex web of international pressures and opportunities, balancing its relationships with both global superpowers.

It will be interesting to see what the future holds, whether Mongolia drifts further away from Russia or if they will turn back towards Russia once they feel the pressure.

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