Thursday, 12 December, 2013
15:03 GMT 19:03 Moscow
Local Time: 19:03
The Russian Federation
The Russian Federation is situated in eastern Europe and northern Asia. In the west, Russia shares borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Belarus. In the Caucasus, Russia borders Georgia and Azerbaijan. Russia’s border with Kazakhstan runs eastwards from the Caspian Sea. In the east, Russia borders Mongolia, China and North Korea (DPRK). Russia has maritime borders with Japan and the United States.
The country borders three oceans: the Arctic Ocean in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the east, and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Russia has the greatest number of seas, 13, including the Caspian Sea (sea-lake).
The country occupies an area of 17,075,400 km2.
The population is 143.3 million as of April 1, 2005.
The capital of Russia is Moscow.
The country’s administrative divisions are 21 republics, 6 territories, 49 regions, 2 cities of federal importance, one autonomous region, 10 autonomous areas, and 7 federal districts.
The state language is Russian.
The Russian currency is the ruble (1 ruble = 100 kopecks).
The basic law is the Constitution of the Russian Federation adopted in 1993.
Since 1991, the head of the Russian Federation has been the president who is elected on the basis of universal direct suffrage by secret ballot.
The current Russian President is Vladimir Putin. He was elected acting president on December 31, 1999, president on March 26, 2000, and was re-elected president on March 14, 2004.
Vladimir Putin was officially inaugurated as Russian President on May 7, 2004.
The executive authority is vested in the Government of the Russian Federation formed for the duration of the president’s term of office. The government consists of a chairman, his deputies and federal ministers.
Since January 1994, the country’s legislative authority is vested in a bicameral parliament: the Federal Assembly made up of the Federation Council and the State Duma.
The Federation Council was formed in November 2000-December 2001 from ex officio representatives. The term of the chamber as a whole is unlimited, but the term of each member depends on his or her individual term in local government. The Federation Council Chairman is Sergei Mironov.
The State Duma of the fourth convocation was elected on December 7, 2003, for a four-year term. A total of 450 deputies were elected to the Duma (with 225 deputies elected from single-mandate constituencies and 225 elected from party lists). The State Duma Chairman (Speaker) is Boris Gryzlov (leader of the United Russia party).
The state holiday is June 12, Russia Day.
The Russian economy has been growing over the past six years: 1999 - 5%, 2000 - 8.8%, 2001- 5.3%, 2002 - 4.7%, 2003 - 7.3%, and 2004 - 7.1%. By the end of the first quarter of 2005, GDP was up by 5.2%. The Russian government projects a 6.3% - 6.5% increase in GDP by the end of 2005, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts an increase of 6%.
In 2004, industrial output in Russia increased by 6.1%. In the first quarter of 2005, industry was up by 3.9%, and a 5.1% increase is predicted for the end of 2005.
The highest growth is being registered in the food industry, construction, and communications. Growth in agriculture was first recorded in 2000.
Inflation gradually declined in 1999-2004. In 2003, it was 12%, in 2004 it was 11.7%, and in the first quarter of 2005 it was 5.3%. By the end of 2005, inflation should not exceed 10%.
The gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank of Russia amounted to $10 billion at the start of 1999, $78 billion at the end of 2003, and $112.8 billion at the end of 2004. The Central Bank reports that as of April 14, 2005, Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves were $137.5 billion, which was a 10.4% increase since the beginning of the year.
In 2004, there was a 10% increase in investment in the country. In 2005, foreign investment is expected to increase by 10%, to $6 billion. An 11% increase in foreign investment is predicted for 2006.
In 2004, the budget surplus was 686.5 billion rubles, or 4.1% of GDP, budget revenues were 3,422.26 billion rubles, and budget spending was 2,735.745 billion rubles.
The federal budget for 2005 was approved on the basis of a projected GDP of 18,720 billion rubles and inflation of 7.5% - 8.5%. Planned budget revenues are 3,326 billion rubles (17.8% of GDP), planned spending is 3,047 billion rubles (16.3% of GDP), and the planned budget surplus is 278.1 billion rubles (1.5% of GDP). The federal budget surplus in 2006 is expected to be 405 billion rubles.
In 2004, Russia’s foreign trade turnover was $278.1 billion, up on 2003 by 31.1%: exports increased by 34.8% to $183.2 billion, and imports increased by 24.7% to $94.8 billion.
Russia’s foreign trade in the first quarter of 2005 was 32.3% up on the same period of last year, to $68.2 billion: exports were up by 34.5% at $49.5 billion, and imports were up by a 26.9% at $18.7 billion.
Russia’s special position in the CIS is determined by objective circumstances. It accounts for over a half of the total population of the CIS and about 70% of its GDP. In 2004, the GDP of the CIS single economic space was more than $711 billion, of which Russia accounted for over 70%. Russia also accounts for about 80% of the money supply and the foreign exchange reserves of the central banks of the CIS countries. Russia accounts for 54% to 88% of the foreign trade turnover of individual CIS countries.
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