Last reviewed: 20 May 2008
Area: 17,075,400 square kilometres
Population: 142,000,000 (2008)
Capital City: Moscow
People: 81.5% Russians, Tatars 3.8%, Ukrainian 3% (more than 100 nationalities in all)
Languages: Russian, other.
Religion(s): Orthodox Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist.
Currency: 1 Rouble = 100 Kopeks
Major political parties: United Russia, Communist Party, Liberal Democratic Party, Just Russia.
Government: Democratic Federation.
Head of State: Dmitri Medvedev
Prime Minister/Premier: Vladimir Putin
Foreign Minister: Sergei Lavrov
Basic Economic Facts
GDP: $ 1,289 trillion (2007)
GDP per head: $ 9,075 (2007)
Annual Growth: 8% (2007)
Inflation: 11% (2007)
Major Industries: Oil, gas, timber, metals, machinery and chemicals
Major trading partners: Germany (9%), US (7.7%), Ukraine (4.9%) and Belarus (5.4%).
UK exports to Russia: £2.8 billion (2007)
UK Imports from Russia: $5.5 billion (2007)
UK Investment in Russia $9 billion (2006)
The Russian economy is booming. There have been nine years of strong growth, last year at 8%. Russia’s is the tenth largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $1.3 trillion (2007, IMF). Since 2000 the country has run large fiscal and trade surpluses, accumulating international reserves in excess of $400 billion. Inflation last year slowed to 9%, the lowest post-Soviet reading, but picked up in 2007, due to high global commodity prices, and some fiscal loosening.
The economy initially recovered after 1998, spurred by the competitive advantage of currency devaluation. High oil prices have been important too. Investment is currently around 25% year on year, and consumption, is at 11%. A rapidly-expanding banking sector (last years assets up 43%, loans up 55% - albeit from low bases) is an important factor in Russia’s economic evolution,but natural resources are 75% of exports.
Hydrocarbons remain a crucial component of the Russian economy, accounting for...