Russia: Government

Russian Federation Flag
Coat of Arms of Russian Federation

Key Figures

Chief of State: President Vladimir Putin

Head of Government: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev


Government Name: Russian Federation

Constitution: Adopted: 1993; Details fundamentals of the constitutional system, rights and liberties of man and citizen, the federative system, president of the Russian federation, federal assembly, government of the Russian federation, the judiciary, and local self-government.

Government Type: Federation

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide,

President is not the head of the executive branch, but rather a guarantor of the constitution, can submit draft legislation, deals with domestic/foreign policy. Premier determines operating priorities of the government, represents the government in foreign relations, signs acts of the government.

President is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system. Premier is appointed by the president.

4 years


Constitutional Court rules on the constitutionality of laws, Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in some cases and is the court of last resort for cases heard in lower courts, and Supreme Court of Arbitration is the court of final instance in commercial disputes and supervises the work of lower courts.

Nominated by the President of Russia and appointed by the Federation Council.

Until resignation


Federation Council must cooperate with the State Duma in the completion and voting upon draft laws. Federal laws concerning budgets, customs, regulations, credit monitoring, and the ratification of international treaties are to be considered by the Council after they have been adopted from the State Duma. The State Duma is responsible for the appointment and dismissal of the Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia, Chairman and half of the auditors of the Accounts Chamber, and the Commissioner for Human rights. Also must decide the issue of confidence, announce amnesty, and bring charges against the President for his impeachment.

Federation Council members are appointed by regional governing councils, and in the State Duma, 225 members are elected through a closed-list proportional representation system, with the remaining 225 members elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies.

Federation council: No specified term limits; Duma: 4 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Over the past several years Russia has increased its international profile, played an increasing role in regional issues, and been more assertive in dealing with its neighbors. In recent years, Russia has not shied from using its significant oil and gas exports as sources of political influence. The August 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia marked a new low point in relations between the two countries, with Russia unilaterally recognizing the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries. Russia continues to support separatist regimes in Georgia and Moldova.

Regional Trade Blocs: APEC

Treaties: Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Collective Security Treaty Organization

Tax Authority: Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation & Federal Tax Service

Tax Name: VAT


CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.