Mongolia’s proposed construction of a chain of hydroelectric power plants on the Selenge River will be discussed in a meeting between Mongolian and Russian experts in June, reports Russian News Agency TASS.
Russian experts have expressed concern over the years regarding Mongolia’s plan to build three dams on rivers that feed Lake Baikal. The world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake, Lake Baikal is located in Southern Siberia.
The plan from the Mongolian side is to build three dams in total, one on the Selenge River and on two other inflows of the lake, the Eg River and the Orkhon River. The Selenge River accounts for 80 percent of all inflow to the lake.
Mongolian Ambassador to Russia B.Delgermaa spoke to TASS about the meeting and said, “A mutual decision was made according to the results of the intergovernmental commission meeting in December 2016, that we will exchange information in the first stage.”
Ambassador B.Delgermaa stated that a study concluded that the proposed hydropower plants would not affect the environment of Russia’s lake negatively.
“Mongolia has a conclusion regarding two of our projects from an expert French company that also built a hydroelectric power plant in Russia. According to their conclusions, construction of the plants will not actually exert a negative influence on the environment. However, Russia has its own conclusions and studies,” she stated.
“It was decided that we set up a joint research team with scientists and experts from both sides,” the Ambassador said. “We suggested holding a meeting in March with the participation of Russian and Mongolian experts, but the Russian party made a proposal to postpone such a meeting until June,” she said.
Baikal Lake is unique, the Ambassador noted, stating, “This is not merely a Russian but also a global treasure. Therefore, we will undertake measures to prevent environmental problems and will jointly settle issues that arise.”