WASHINGTON — The United States and Mongolia, one of Moscow's closest Asian allies, formally established diplomatic relations Tuesday for the first time.
With champagne toasts at a State Department ceremony, Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Mongolia's permanent representative to the United Nations, Gendengiin Nyamdoo, signed a memorandum of understanding establishing relations.
The move, coming two weeks after Moscow announced that it would withdraw up to 11,000 of its 75,000 troops in Mongolia, resulted from several months of talks between Nyamdoo and Vernon A. Walters, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
U.S. officials, who asked not to be identified, said that a reduction in Sino-Soviet tensions paved the way to U.S.-Mongolian relations. A speech in Vladivostok last July by Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, which signaled a strong interest in improved Moscow-Peking relations and included the plan to withdraw Soviet troops from Mongolia, was a major factor in the U.S.-Mongolian diplomatic initiative, they said.