The United States and Mongolia will sign an "Open Skies" civil aviation agreement, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene said at the start of discussions focused on Russia, China and economic development.

Their meeting in Washington on Wednesday came as the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden works to ease tensions with strategic competitor China and as U.S. relations with Russia show no sign of thawing as the Ukraine war grinds on.

Harris underscored the administration's commitment to strengthening ties with Mongolia and other nations in the Indo-Pacific region, with a big focus on combating the climate crisis, upholding democracies and human rights, and addressing threats to the international rules-based order.