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Country name the Russian Federation (Russia)

17 million sq km (6.6 million sq miles), the largest country in the world

Northern Asia (that part west of the Urals is included with Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean

ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast


145,200,000 (2002 census)

noun: Russian(s)
adjective: Russian

Ethnic groups:
Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1% (2002 census)

Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other

Russian, many minority languages

Administrative divisions:
7 Federal Districts:

1. Central Federal District (centre Moscow);
2. Northwestern Federal District (centre St. Petersburg);
3. Southern Federal District (centre Rostov-on-Don);
4. Privolzhsky Federal District (centre Nizhny Novgorod);
5. Ural Federal District (centre Ekaterinburg);
6. Siberian Federal District (centre Novosibirsk);
7. Far-Eastern Federal District (centre Vladivostok).
49 regions (oblasts), 21 republics, 10 autonomous areas (okrugs), 6 territories (krays), 2 federal cities and 1 autonomous region (autonomous oblast)

National holiday:
Russia Day, 12 June (1990)

adopted on December 12, 1993

Legal system:
based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
head of state: President Dmitry A. Medvedev,
elected on March 2, 2008 head of government: Premier Vladimir PUTIN (since 8 May 2008); cabinet: Ministries of the Government or "Government" composed of the premier and his deputy, ministers, and selected other individuals; all are appointed by the president note: there is also a Presidential Administration (PA) that provides staff and policy support to the president, drafts presidential decrees, and coordinates policy among government agencies; a Security Council also reports directly to the president elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 14 March 2004 (next to be held March 2008);
premier appointed by the president with the approval of the Duma.

Legislative branch:
bicameral Federal Assembly consists of the Council of Federation (178 seats, members appointed by the top executive and legislative officials in each of the 89 federal administrative units and serve four-year terms) and the State Duma (450 seats, members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms);
elections:State Duma - last held 7 December 2003 (next to be held December 2007).

Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Superior Court of Arbitration; judges for all courts are appointed for life by the Council of Federation on the recommendation of the president

Political parties and leaders:
Communist Party of the Russian Federation or CPRF (Gennadiy ZYUGANOV); Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR (Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKIY); Motherland Bloc (Rodina) (Dmitriy ROGOZIN); People's Party (Gennadiy RAYKOV); Union of Right Forces or SPS (Anatoliy CHUBAYS, Yegor GAYDAR, Irina KHAKAMADA, Boris NEMTSOV); United Russia (Boris GRYZLOV); Yabloko Party (Grigoriy YAVLINSKIY)

International organization participation:
APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BSEC, CBSS, CE, CERN (observer), CIS, EAPC, EBRD, G- 8, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC (observer) ONUB, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMIL, UNMISET, UNMOVIC, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer), ZC

Economy - overview:
2004 was the sixth year of economic growth in Russia, but growth rate slowed down to some extent, as compared with 2003.
In 2004, GDP increased by 7.1% on the previous year, in 2003 by 7.3%. Russia has surpassed developed nations by economic growth rate, but yielded to a number of transition economies, including China and most of CIS states. Slowing down of economic growth happened against the background of exclusively favorable global environment, first of all, for oil, gas and metals.
The amount of industrial products stepped up by 6.1% in 2004 y-o-y (by 7% in 2003).
In agricultural production, output of products grew by 1.6% y-o-y as compared with an 1.3% growth in 2003.
Financial standing of the nation has improved significantly. In 2004, the federal budget income have considerably surpassed the scheduled level, with national debt serviced in accordance with the envisaged schedule. The surplus budget policy (at a level over 4% of GDP) ensured sterilization of a portion of excessive money supply and accumulation of significant funds in the Stabilization Fund (over RUR 520 billion). In addition with scaling up of currency reserves of the Bank of Russia (that exceeded $124 billion as of the year-end), this ensures sufficient opportunities of preventing crises in the financial sphere.
Despite fairly stiff monetary policy and ruble appreciation, inflation rate in 2004 came to 11.7%, or by 1.7 percentage points higher than the targeted level. This is largely due to outstripping price markup for products pricing for which is closely connected with global price movements (gasoline, diesel fuel and other fuel and lubricants, staples).

complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries including radar, missile production, and advanced electronic components, shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts

Agriculture - products: grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk

Currency: Russian ruble (RUR)

Currency code: RUR

Exchange rates: Russian rubles per US dollar - 28.814 (2004), 30.692 (2003), 31.349 (2002), 29.169 (2001), 28.129 (2000)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Internet domain: .ru

International dialing code: 007

Diplomatic relations
with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:
established on May 1, 1948