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Border Exchanged with Homeland

Since Tuva separation from Mongolia, border disputes between Mongolia and Tuva had arisen. When Molotov arrived in Ulaanbaatar as an Ambassador in July 1957, he re-opened the border problem issue between Tuva and Mongolia. 

A Stubborn Avarzed 

     In November 1957, a decree from the Politburo of the MPRP to approve the government commission on the specification of the border strip was issued, and Avarzed, Deputy, Prime Minister, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, was appointed as the Chairman of the Commission.

     Avarzed did not accept the changes drawn by Molotov on the map nor would he even hear about such changes. Molotov, sent by the Soviet government to establish a borderline, was trying to frighten Avarzed. According to Molotov’s suggestion, the Tas and Shishged River basins should belong to the Soviet side, but Avarzed offered historical background to support the contrary argument.

     Avarzed asked him to keep the present border between the Soviet Union and Mongolia and to share the natural resources. Molotov replied, “Since our country is both technically and economically highly developed, we will quickly use them up”. But the young minister did not give up. He became more stubborn and repeatedly argued with Molotov. Avarzed told him: “This is not 1939, this is 1957!” -perhaps referring to the secret Molotov- Ribbentrop Pact.

Using Tsend 

     Damba, the Party leader, was standing behind Avarzed. He inspired the Minister by saying “Do as you please!” On the other hand, Tsedenbal had the interest to give the land away, since for a long time it had been disputed territory. The problem reached Khrushchev, who finally responded. The Head of the Kremlin angrily said: “I do not understand the position of the head of the Mongolian side in the negotiations on identifying the borders”. This was the impetus for solving the problem. Returning from Moscow, Tsedenbal reproached Avarzed: “It been two months since the bilateral work to identify the borders began. During this period negotiations have slowed and become more controversial. It should be decided by Soviets and Mongolians in a friendly way”. Avarzed was removed as Chairman of the Mongolian delegation.

     Tsend, having the desire to be party leader, became head of the delegation and signed the agreement unconditionally, persuaded by Tsedenbal according to Molotovs suggestion. Through this agreement, Mongolia lost forever several kilometers of outstanding beauty land which included the birthplaces of both Tsedenbal himself and Tsend, who had signed the agreement. 

Lost, Yet Something Remained 

     The work to define borders was considered in both 1962 and 1976, and the 250-year-old borders remained by a mutual commitment. Mongolia lost 2,317.7 sq km to Tuva, and 120.7 sq km to Buryatia, a total of 2,442.4 sq km of its land of the USSR. In 1997, the Mongolian Parliament approved the Triple Agreement between Russia, China, and Mongolia on establishing the borders of the three countries. Thereby, Mongolia finally got a fully demarcated border.


     Avarzed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, was born in 1922 in Bishrelt Gun, Zasagt Khan province, and died in 1989 in Ulaanbaatar

     He was a diplomat. He studied at the Zoo-Veterinary Techincal College in 1941 and graduated from the Institute of International Affairs in 1952. Between 1955 and 1957, he served as a Minister of between 1957 and 1958 as a Minister of Foreign Affairs, between 1959 and 1960 years as the Plenipotentiary Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary, and was promoted as the deputy member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the MPRP. In 1958, he was one of the leaders in the Soviet- Mongol border agreement. During these negotiations, the Soviet-made claim to unite a 300 km strip of land along the west and north-western borders, but Avarzed refused to accept this. After suggesting that the Soviet leader Khrushchev did not understand the attitude of the Mongolian delegation, S.Avarzed was omitted from the negotiation. Soon after he was accused of being anti-Soviet, fired from his job, and became a truck driver.

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