France, Mongolia Reached Agreement on Critical Mineral Supplies

France and Mongolia agreed on a partnership that will see the Central Asian nation to supply critical minerals, which France needs as part of its shift to a carbon neutral economy. The announcement was made by French President Macron, during the first ever trip to Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar by a French president. Macron had organized the trip in order to strengthen ties between the two nations, particularly in relation to clean energy, agriculture and the food industry, as well as reducing Mongolia’s dependence on its neighbors Russia and China.

“We decided to work together to strengthen our energy sovereignty through the supply of critical metals from your country, which has this resource,” Macron said as he stood alongside Mongolian President Khurelsukh.

He added that an existing partnership with French nuclear group Orano would be key to enabling the extraction of critical metals.

The European Union is trying to secure access to resources that are crucial for its clean-energy and digital transition, such as lithium needed for electric vehicle batteries. It also wants to reduce its dependence on a handful of suppliers, particularly China.

Macron added that the two countries would cooperate on renewables and nuclear, as well as working on bilateral and international financing to help with the decarbonization of Mongolia’s economy.

The visit is the second by a European head of state this year, following that of Polish President Duda in April.

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