OTTAWA — A Canadian mining company wants the federal government to suspend millions of dollars in foreign aid to Mongolia until the Asian country pays for taking the firm’s uranium mine and giving it to the Russians.
The request, made Tuesday, comes exactly one year after a trade tribunal told Mongolia to give Toronto-based Khan Resources Inc. more than $100 million in compensation for the lost uranium mine, and is the latest gambit in a long-running dispute sparked by Cold War-era geopolitics.
It also coincides with a major mining convention in Toronto next week, where Mongolian officials plan to pitch their country as a great place for mining companies from Canada and the rest of the world to invest.
Mongolia receives about $4 million in aid per year after the previous Conservative government designated it one of 25 “countries of focus” for foreign aid in 2014. A major focus is building the Mongolian government’s ability to manage the country’s mining sector, where Canada is the second-largest investor after China.
Mongolia’s ambassador to Canada, Radnaabazar Altangerel, said in an interview Wednesday that Canada’s assistance has been extremely important in helping his country manage its rich reserves of copper, gold and coal, as well as develop its agricultural sector and improve the health care system.
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