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Introduction Russia
Repeated devastating defeats of Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in major cities of Russian Empire and to overthrow in 1917 of 300-year old Romanov Dynasty. Communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed USSR. brutal rule of Josef STALIN (1928-53) strengthened Russian dominance of Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. Soviet economy and society stagnated in following decades until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize Communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered USSR into 15 independent republics. Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace strict social, political, and economic controls of Communist period. A determined guerrilla conflict still plagues Russia in Chechnya.
Geography Russia
Northern Asia (that part west of Urals is included with Europe), bordering Arctic Ocean, between Europe and North Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates:
60 00 N, 100 00 E
Map references:
total: 17,075,200 sq km
water: 79,400 sq km
land: 16,995,800 sq km
Area - comparative:
approximately 1.8 times size of US
Land boundaries:
total: 19,990 km
border countries: Azerbaijan 284 km, Belarus 959 km, China (southeast) 3,605 km, China (south) 40 km, Estonia 294 km, Finland 1,313 km, Georgia 723 km, Kazakhstan 6,846 km, North Korea 19 km, Latvia 217 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 227 km, Mongolia 3,485 km, Norway 196 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km, Ukraine 1,576 km
37,653 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
ranges from steppes in south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in steppes to cool along Arctic coast
broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Gora El'brus 5,633 m
Natural resources:
wide natural resource base includes major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, timber
note: formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources
Land use:
arable land: 7.46%
permanent crops: 0.11%
other: 92.43% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
46,630 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impediment to development; volcanic activity in Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on Kamchatka Peninsula; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia
Environment - current issues:
air pollution from heavy industry, emissions of coal-fired electric plants, and transportation in major cities; industrial, municipal, and agricultural pollution of inland waterways and seacoasts; deforestation; soil erosion; soil contamination from improper application of agricultural chemicals; scattered areas of occasionally intense radioactive contamination; groundwater contamination from toxic waste; urban solid waste management; abandoned stocks of obsolete pesticides
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note:
largest country in world in terms of area but unfavorably located in relation to major sea lanes of world; despite its size, much of country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture; Mount Elbrus is Europe's tallest peak
People Russia
Total Population:
144,526,278 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 16% (male 11,815,360; female 11,335,715)
15-64 years: 70.4% (male 49,399,322; female 52,367,194)
65 years and over: 13.6% (male 6,394,411; female 13,214,276) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.6 years
male: 34.7 years
female: 40.3 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
-0.3% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
10.09 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
13.99 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female
Population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 19.51 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 21.53 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 67.66 years
male: 62.46 years
female: 73.11 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.33 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.9% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
700,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
9,000 (2001 est.)
noun: Russian(s)
adjective: Russian
Ethnic groups:
Russian 81.5%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash 1.2%, Bashkir 0.9%, Belarusian 0.8%, Moldavian 0.7%, other 8.1% (1989)
Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other
Russian, other
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 99.6%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.5% (2003 est.)
Government Russia
Country name:
conventional long form: Russian Federation
conventional short form: Russia
local long form: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
former: Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
local short form: Rossiya
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
49 oblasts (oblastey, singular - oblast), 21 republics* (respublik, singular - respublika), 10 autonomous okrugs**(avtonomnykh okrugov, singular - avtonomnyy okrug), 6 krays*** (krayev, singular - kray), 2 federal cities (singular - gorod)****, and 1 autonomous oblast*****(avtonomnaya oblast'); Adygeya (Maykop)*, Aginskiy Buryatskiy (Aginskoye)**, Altay (Gorno-Altaysk)*, Altayskiy (Barnaul)***, Amurskaya (Blagoveshchensk), Arkhangel'skaya, Astrakhanskaya, Bashkortostan (Ufa)*, Belgorodskaya, Bryanskaya, Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude)*, Chechnya (Groznyy)*, Chelyabinskaya, Chitinskaya, Chukotskiy (Anadyr')**, Chuvashiya (Cheboksary)*, Dagestan (Makhachkala)*, Evenkiyskiy (Tura)**, Ingushetiya (Nazran')*, Irkutskaya, Ivanovskaya, Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal'chik)*, Kaliningradskaya, Kalmykiya (Elista)*, Kaluzhskaya, Kamchatskaya (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy), Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk)*, Kareliya (Petrozavodsk)*, Kemerovskaya, Khabarovskiy***, Khakasiya (Abakan)*, Khanty-Mansiyskiy (Khanty-Mansiysk)**, Kirovskaya, Komi (Syktyvkar)*, Koryakskiy (Palana)**, Kostromskaya, Krasnodarskiy***, Krasnoyarskiy***, Kurganskaya, Kurskaya, Leningradskaya, Lipetskaya, Magadanskaya, Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola)*, Mordoviya (Saransk)*, Moskovskaya, Moskva (Moscow)****, Murmanskaya, Nenetskiy (Nar'yan-Mar)**, Nizhegorodskaya, Novgorodskaya, Novosibirskaya, Omskaya, Orenburgskaya, Orlovskaya (Orel), Penzenskaya, Permskaya, Komi-Permyatskiy (Kudymkar)**, Primorskiy (Vladivostok)***, Pskovskaya, Rostovskaya, Ryazanskaya, Sakha (Yakutiya)*, Sakhalinskaya (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Samarskaya, Sankt-Peterburg (Saint Petersburg)****, Saratovskaya, Severnaya Osetiya-Alaniya [North Ossetia] (Vladikavkaz)*, Smolenskaya, Stavropol'skiy***, Sverdlovskaya (Yekaterinburg), Tambovskaya, Tatarstan (Kazan')*, Taymyrskiy (Dudinka)**, Tomskaya, Tul'skaya, Tverskaya, Tyumenskaya, Tyva (Kyzyl)*, Udmurtiya (Izhevsk)*, Ul'yanovskaya, Ust'-Ordynskiy Buryatskiy (Ust'-Ordynskiy)**, Vladimirskaya, Volgogradskaya, Vologodskaya, Voronezhskaya, Yamalo-Nenetskiy (Salekhard)**, Yaroslavskaya, Yevreyskaya*****; note - when using a place name with an adjectival ending 'skaya' or 'skiy,' word Oblast' or Avonomnyy Okrug or Kray should be added to place name
note: administrative divisions have same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have administrative center name following in parentheses)
24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Russia Day, 12 June (1990)
adopted 12 December 1993
Legal system:
based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (acting president since 31 December 1999, president since 7 May 2000)
head of government: Premier Mikhail Mikhaylovich KASYANOV (since 7 May 2000); Deputy Premiers Viktor Borisovich KHRISTENKO (since 31 May 1999), Aleksey Leonidovich KUDRIN (since 18 May 2000), Aleksey Vasilyevich GORDEYEV (since 20 May 2000), Boris Sergeyevich ALESHIN (since 24 April 2003), Galina Nikolayevna KARELOVA (since 24 April 2003), Vladimir Anatolyevich YAKOVLEV (since 16 June 2003)
cabinet: Ministries of Government or "Government" composed of premier and his deputies, ministers, and selected other individuals; all are appointed by president
note: there is also a Presidential Administration (PA) that provides staff and policy support to president, drafts presidential decrees, and coordinates policy among government agencies; a Security Council also reports directly to president
election results: Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN elected president; percent of vote - Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN 52.9%, Gennadiy Andreyevich ZYUGANOV 29.2%, Grigoriy Alekseyevich YAVLINSKIY 5.8%
elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 26 March 2000 (next to be held March 2004); note - no vice president; if president dies in office, cannot exercise his powers because of ill health, is impeached, or resigns, premier succeeds him; premier serves as acting president until a new presidential election is held, which must be within three months; premier appointed by president with approval of Duma
Legislative branch:
bicameral Federal Assembly or Federalnoye Sobraniye consists of Federation Council or Sovet Federatsii (178 seats; as of July 2000, members appointed by top executive and legislative officials in each of 89 federal administrative units - oblasts, krays, republics, autonomous okrugs and oblasts, and federal cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg; members serve four-year terms) and State Duma or Gosudarstvennaya Duma (450 seats; 225 seats elected by proportional representation from party lists winning at least 5% of vote, and 225 seats from single-member constituencies; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms)
election results: State Duma - percent of vote received by parties clearing 5% threshold entitling them to a proportional share of 225 party list seats - United Russia 37.1%, KPRF 12.7%, LDPR 11.6%, Motherland 9.1%; seats by party - United Russia 222, KPRF 53, LDPR 38, Motherland 37, People's Party 19, Yabloko 4, Union of Rightist Forces 2, other 7, independents 65, repeat election required 3
elections: State Duma - last held 7 December 2003 (next to be held NA December 2007)
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Superior Court of Arbitration; judges for all courts are appointed for life by Federation Council on recommendation of president
Political parties and leaders:
Communist Party of Russian Federation or KPRF [Gennadiy Andreyevich ZYUGANOV]; Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR [Vladimir Volfovich ZHIRINOVSKIY]; Motherland Bloc (Rodina) [Sergey GLAZYEV and Dmitriy ROGOZIN]; People's Party [Gennadiy RAYKOV]; Union of Rightist Forces or SPS [Anatoliy Borisovich CHUBAYS, Yegor Timurovich GAYDAR, Irina Mutsuovna KHAKAMADA, Boris Yefimovich NEMTSOV]; United Russia [Boris Vyacheslavovich GRYZLOV]; Yabloko Party [Grigoriy Alekseyevich YAVLINSKIY]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BSEC, CBSS, CE, CERN (observer), CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ESCAP, G- 8, GEF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMISET, UNMOP, UNMOVIC, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer), ZC
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Yuriy Viktorovich USHAKOV
chancery: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
consulate(s) general: New York, San Francisco, and Seattle
FAX: [1] (202) 298-5735
telephone: [1] (202) 298-5700, 5701, 5704, 5708
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander VERSHBOW
embassy: Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Pereulok No. 8, 121099 Moscow
mailing address: PSC-77, APO AE 09721
telephone: [7] (095) 728-5000
FAX: [7] (095) 728-5090
consulate(s) general: Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red
Economy Russia
Economy - overview:
A decade after implosion of Soviet Union in December 1991, Russia is still struggling to establish a modern market economy and achieve strong economic growth. In contrast to its trading partners in Central Europe - which were able within 3 to 5 years to overcome initial production declines that accompanied launch of market reforms - Russia saw its economy contract for five years, as executive and legislature dithered over implementation of many of basic foundations of a market economy. Russia achieved a slight recovery in 1997, but government's stubborn budget deficits and countries poor business climate made it vulnerable when globel financial crisis swept through in 1998. crisis culminated in August depreciation of ruble, a debt default by government, and a sharp deterioration in living standards for most of population. economy subsequently has rebounded, growing by an average of more than 6% annually in 1999-2002 on back of higher oil prices and 60% depreciation of ruble in 1998. These GDP numbers, along with a renewed government effort to advance lagging structural reforms, have raised business and investor confidence over Russia's prospects in its second decade of transition. Yet serious problems persist. Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of exports, leaving country vulnerable to swings in world prices. Russia's industrial base is increasingly dilapidated and must be replaced or modernized if country is to maintain vigorous economic growth. Other problems include a weak banking system, a poor business climate that discourages both domestic and foreign investors, corruption, local and regional government intervention in courts, and widespread lack of trust in institutions. In 2003 President PUTIN further tightened his control over "oligarchs," especially in realm of political expression.
buying power parity - $1.409 trillion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.3% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $9,700 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.8%
industry: 34.6%
services: 59.6% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
25% (37622 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 5.9%
highest 10%: 47% (2001)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
39.9 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
15% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
71.8 million (2002 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 12.3%, industry 22.7%, services 65% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
7.9% plus considerable underemployment (2002)
revenues: $70 billion
expenditures: $62 billion, includes capital expenditures of $NA (2002 est.)
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; 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
Industrial production growth rate:
3.7% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
846.5 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 64.3%
hydro: 20.5%
other: 0.4% (2001)
nuclear: 14.8%
Electricity - consumption:
773 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
21.16 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
7 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
7.286 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
2.595 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
51.22 billion bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
580.8 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
408.1 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
205.4 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
32.7 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
47.86 trillion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk
$104.6 billion (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, wood and wood products, metals, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures
Exports - partners:
Germany 7.5%, Italy 6.9%, Netherlands 6.7%, China 6.3%, US 6.1%, Ukraine 5.5%, Belarus 5.4%, Switzerland 5% (2002)
$60.7 billion (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, consumer goods, medicines, meat, sugar, semifinished metal products
Imports - partners:
Germany 14.3%, Belarus 8.9%, Ukraine 7.1%, US 6.4%, China 5.2%, Italy 4.8%, Kazakhstan 4.3%, France 4.1% (2002)
Debt - external:
$153.5 billion (yearend 2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
in FY01 from US, $979 million (including $750 million in non-proliferation subsidies); in 2001 from EU, $200 million
Russian ruble (RUR)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Russian rubles per US dollar - 31.27 (2002), 29.17 (2001), 28.13 (2000), 24.62 (1999), 9.71 (1998)
note: post-1 January 1998 ruble is equal to 1,000 of pre-1 January 1998 rubles
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Russia
Telephones - main lines in use:
30 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
19 million (January 2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: telephone system has undergone significant changes in 1990s; there are more than 1,000 companies licensed to offer communication services; access to digital lines has improved, particularly in urban centers; Internet and e-mail services are improving; Russia has made progress toward building telecommunications infrastructure necessary for a market economy; however, a large demand for main line service remains unsatisfied
domestic: cross-country digital trunk lines run from Saint Petersburg to Khabarovsk, and from Moscow to Novorossiysk; telephone systems in 60 regional capitals have modern digital infrastructures; cellular services, both analog and digital, are available in many areas; in rural areas, telephone services are still outdated, inadequate, and low density
international: Russia is connected internationally by three undersea fiber-optic cables; digital switches in several cities provide more than 50,000 lines for international calls; satellite earth stations provide access to Intelsat, Intersputnik, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Orbita systems
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 420, FM 447, shortwave 56 (1998)
61.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
7,306 (1998)
60.5 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.ru; Russia also has responsibility for a legacy domain ".su" that previously allocated to Soviet Union, its legal status and ownership are contested by Russian Government, ICANN, and several Russian commercial entities
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
300 (June 2000)
Internet users:
18 million (2002)
Transportation Russia
total: 87,157 km
broad gauge: 86,200 km 1.520-m gauge (40,300 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 957 km 1.067-m gauge (on Sakhalin Island)
note:: an additional 30,000 km of non-common carrrier lines serve industries (2002)
total: 532,393 km
paved: 358,833 km
unpaved: 173,560 km (2000)
95,900 km (total routes in general use)
note: routes with navigation guides serving Russian River Fleet - 95,900 km; routes with night navigational aids - 60,400 km; man-made navigable routes - 16,900 km (January 1994)
gas 135,771 km; oil 70,833 km; refined products 11,536 km; water 23 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky, Arkhangel'sk, Astrakhan', De-Kastri, Indigirskiy, Kaliningrad, Kandalaksha, Kazan', Khabarovsk, Kholmsk, Krasnoyarsk, Lazarev, Mago, Mezen', Moscow, Murmansk, Nakhodka, Nevel'sk, Novorossiysk, Onega, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Rostov, Shakhtersk, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Taganrog, Tuapse, Uglegorsk, Vanino, Vladivostok, Volgograd, Vostochnyy, Vyborg
Merchant marine:
total: 933 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 4,495,122 GRT/5,490,103 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 22, cargo 553, chemical tanker 12, combination bulk 21, combination ore/oil 36, container 30, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger 38, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 167, refrigerated cargo 21, roll on/roll off 20, short-sea passenger 7, specialized tanker 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Belize 1, Cambodia 1, Cyprus 9, Denmark 1, Estonia 4, Greece 3, Honduras 1, Latvia 4, Lithuania 3, Moldova 3, Netherlands 1, South Korea 1, Turkey 18, Turkmenistan 2, Ukraine 10, UK 5, US 1 (2002 est.)
2,743 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 471
over 3,047 m: 56
2,438 to 3,047 m: 178
1,524 to 2,437 m: 76
914 to 1,523 m: 69
under 914 m: 92 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2,272
over 3,047 m: 28
2,438 to 3,047 m: 118
1,524 to 2,437 m: 204
914 to 1,523 m: 324
under 914 m: 1,598 (2002)
Military Russia
Military branches:
Ground Forces, Navy, Air Forces; Airborne troops, Strategic Rocket Forces, and Military Space Forces are classified as independent combat arms, not subordinate to any of three branches
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2003)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 36 million (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 24 million (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 1.243 million (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues Russia
Disputes - international:
China continues to seek a mutually acceptable solution to disputed alluvial islands at confluence of Amur and Ussuri rivers and a limited island on Argun River as part of 2001 Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation; islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and Habomai group identified by Russians as "Southern Kurils" and by Japan as "Northern Territories" occupied by Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, claimed by Japan; boundary with Georgia has been largely delimited but not demarcated with several limited , strategic segments remaining in dispute and OSCE observers monitoring volatile areas such as Pankisi Gorge in Akhmeti region and Argun Gorge in Abkhazia; equidistant seabed treaties have been signed with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in Caspian Sea but no resolution on dividing water column among any of littoral states; Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within Svalbard Treaty zone; Russia continues to reject signing and ratifying joint 1996 technical border agreement with Estonia; Russian Parliament refuses to consider ratification of boundary treaties with Estonia and Latvia, but in May 2003, ratified land and maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania, which ratified 1997 treaty in 1999, legalizing limits of former Soviet republic borders; discussions are still ongoing among Russia, Lithuania and EU concerning a simplified transit document for residents of Kaliningrad coastal exclave to transit through Lithuania to Russia; land delimitation with Ukraine is ratified, but maritime regime of Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait is unresolved; delimitation with Kazakhstan is scheduled for completion in 2003; Russian Duma has not yet ratified 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement with US in Bering Sea
Illicit drugs:
limited cultivation of illicit cannabis and opium poppy and producer of methamphetamine, mostly for domestic consumption; government has active illicit crop eradication program; used as transshipment point for Asian opiates, cannabis, and Latin American cocaine bound for growing domestic markets, to a lesser extent Western and Central Europe, and occasionally to US; major source of heroin precursor chemicals; corruption and organized crime are key concerns; heroin increasingly popular in domestic market