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Russia

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Europe : Russia
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Quick Facts
CapitalMoscow
Governmentfederation
CurrencyRussian ruble (RUR)
Areatotal: 17,075,200 sq km
water: 79,400 sq km
land: 16,995,800 sq km
Population144,978,573 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageRussian, other
ReligionRussian Orthodox, Muslim, other

This article is an import from the CIA World Factbook 2002. It's a starting point for creating a real Wikitravel country article according to our country article template. Please plunge forward and edit it.

The defeat of the Russian Empire in World War I led to the seizure of power by the Communists and the formation of the USSR. The brutal rule of Josef STALIN (1924-53) strengthened Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the 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 the USSR into 15 independent republics. Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace the strict social, political, and economic controls of the Communist period. A determined guerrilla conflict still plagues Russia in Chechnya.


Geography

Rs-map.png
Map of Russia
Location 
Northern Asia (that part west of the Urals is sometimes included with Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates 
60 00 N, 100 00 E
Map references 
Asia
Area 
total: 17,075,200 sq km
water: 79,400 sq km
land: 16,995,800 sq km
Area - comparative 
slightly less than 1.8 times the size of the 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
Coastline 
37,653 km
Maritime claims 
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Climate 
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
Terrain 
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 including 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 the Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on the 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 sometimes 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 the 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 the world in terms of area but unfavorably located in relation to major sea lanes of the world; despite its size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture; Mount Elbrus is Europe's tallest peak

People

Population 
144,978,573 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 16.7% (male 12,334,659; female 11,840,058)
15-64 years: 70.2% (male 49,330,660; female 52,402,610)
65 years and over: 13.1% (male 6,150,775; female 12,919,811) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
-0.33% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
9.71 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
13.91 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
0.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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
total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
19.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 67.5 years
female: 72.97 years (2002 est.)
male: 62.29 years
Total fertility rate 
1.3 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
0.18% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
130,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
850 (1999 est.)
Nationality 
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%
Religions 
Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other
Languages 
Russian, other
Literacy 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 100%
female: 97% (1989 est.)

Government

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 
federation
Capital 
Moscow
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,' the word Oblast' or Avonomnyy Okrug or Kray should be added to the place name
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
Independence 
24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday 
Russia Day, 12 June (1990)
Constitution 
adopted 12 December 1993
Legal system 
based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
Suffrage 
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 Aleksey Leonidovich KUDRIN (since 18 May 2000), Aleksey Vasilyevich GORDEYEV (since 20 May 2000), Viktor Borisovich KHRISTENKO (since 31 May 1999)
cabinet: Ministries of the Government or "Government" composed of the premier and his deputies, ministers, and other agency heads; 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
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 NA 2004); note - no vice president; if the president dies in office, cannot exercise his powers because of ill health, is impeached, or resigns, the premier succeeds him; the premier serves as acting president until a new presidential election is held, which must be within three months; premier appointed by the president with the approval of the Duma
Legislative branch 
bicameral Federal Assembly or Federalnoye Sobraniye consists of the Federation Council or Sovet Federatsii (178 seats; as of July 2000, members appointed by the top executive and legislative officials in each of the 89 federal administrative units - oblasts, krays, republics, autonomous okrugs and oblasts, and the federal cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg; members serve four-year terms) and the State Duma or Gosudarstvennaya Duma (450 seats; 225 seats elected by proportional representation from party lists winning at least 5% of the 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 the 5% threshold entitling them to a proportional share of the 225 party list seats - KPRF 24.29%, Unity 23.32%, OVR 13.33%, Union of Right Forces 8.52%, LDPR 5.98%, Yabloko 5.93%; seats by party - KPRF 113, Unity 72, OVR 67, Union of Rightist Forces 29, LDPR 17, Yabloko 21, other 16, independents 106, repeat election required 8, vacant 1
elections: State Duma - last held 19 December 1999 (next to be held NA December 2003)
Judicial branch 
Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Superior Court of Arbitration; judges for all courts are appointed for life by the Federation Council on the recommendation of the president
Political parties and leaders 
Agrarian Party [Mikhail Ivanovich LAPSHIN]; Communist Party of the Russian Federation or KPRF [Gennadiy Andreyevich ZYUGANOV]; Fatherland-All Russia or OVR [Yuriy Mikhaylovich LUZHKOV]; Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR [Vladimir Volfovich ZHIRINOVSKIY]; Union of Rightist Forces [Anatoliy Borisovich CHUBAYS, Yegor Timurovich GAYDAR, Irina Mutsuovna KHAKAMADA, Boris Yefimovich NEMTSOV]; Unity [Sergey Kuzhugetovich SHOYGU]; Yabloko Bloc [Grigoriy Alekseyevich YAVLINSKIY]
note: some 150 political parties, blocs, and movements registered with the Justice Ministry as of the 19 December 1998 deadline to be eligible to participate in the 19 December 1999 Duma elections; of these, 36 political organizations actually qualified to run slates of candidates on the Duma party list ballot, 6 parties cleared the 5% threshold to win a proportional share of the 225 party seats in the Duma, 9 other organizations hold seats in the Duma: Bloc of Nikolayev and Academician Fedorov, Congress of Russian Communities, Movement in Support of the Army, Our Home Is Russia, Party of Pensioners, Power to the People, Russian All-People's Union, Russian Socialist Party, and Spiritual Heritage; primary political blocs include pro-market democrats - (Yabloko Bloc and Union of Right Forces), anti-market and/or ultranationalist (Communist Party of the Russian Federation and Liberal Democratic Party of Russia)
Political pressure groups and leaders 
NA
International organization participation 
APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BSEC, CBSS, CCC, CE, CERN (observer), CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ESCAP, G- 8, GEF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, 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, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOVIC, UNOMIG, UNTAET, UNTSO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer), ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Yuriy Viktorovich USHAKOV
FAX: [1] (202) 298-5735
consulate(s) general: New York, San Francisco, and Seattle
telephone: [1] (202) 298-5700, 5701, 5704, 5708
chancery: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Alexander VERSHBOW
embassy: Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Pereulok No. 8, 121099 Moscow
mailing address: APO AE 09721
telephone: [7] (095) 728-5000
FAX: [7] (095) 728-5203
consulate(s) general: Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg
Flag description 
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red

Economy

Economy - overview 
A decade after the implosion of the centrally planned Soviet Union in December 1991, Russia is still struggling to establish a modern market economy, modernize its industrial base, and maintain strong economic growth. The period 1992-98 was marked by a poor business climate, a deterioration in already threadbare living standards, and failure to institute modern market reforms. Conditions improved markedly in 1999-2002, with annual output growing by an average 6% and with progress in structural reforms. Yet serious problems persist. Russia remains heavily dependent on exports of commodities, particularly oil, natural gas, metals, and timber, which account for over 80% of exports, leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world prices. Russia's industrial base is increasingly dilapidated and must be replaced or modernized if the country is to maintain strong economic growth. Other problems include widespread corruption, lack of a strong legal system, capital flight, and brain drain.
GDP 
purchasing power parity - $1.27 trillion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
4% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $8,800 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 7%
industry: 39%
services: 53% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line 
40% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 34% (2001 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index 
40 (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
16.2% (2002 est.)
Labor force 
71.3 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation 
agriculture 11%, industry 28%, services 61% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate 
8% (2001 est.), plus considerable underemployment (2002 est.)
Budget 
revenues: $45 billion
expenditures: $43 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Industries 
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 
835.57 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 66%
hydro: 19%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 15%
Electricity - consumption 
767.08 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
18 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
8 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk
Exports 
$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 9.3%, US 8.3%, Italy 7.5%, China 5.6%, Belarus 5.2%, Ukraine 5.2% (2001)
Imports 
$60.7 billion (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities 
machinery and equipment, consumer goods, medicines, meat, grain, sugar, semifinished metal products
Imports - partners 
Germany 13.2%, Belarus 9.6%, Ukraine 9.3%, US 7.6%, Kazakhstan 4.8%, Italy 4.1% (2001)
Debt - external 
$149 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient 
ODA $5.6 billion (2000 est.)
Currency 
Russian ruble (RUR)
Currency code 
RUR
Exchange rates 
Russian rubles per US dollar - 30.4669 (January 2002), 29.1685 (2001), 28.1292 (2000), 24.6199 (1999), 9.7051 (1998), 5,785 (1997)
note: the post-1 January 1998 ruble is equal to 1,000 of the pre-1 January 1998 rubles
Fiscal year 
calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use 
30 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
2.5 million (October 2000)
Telephone system 
general assessment: the telephone system has undergone significant changes in the 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 the 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; the telephone systems in 60 regional capitals have modern digital infrastructures; cellular services, both analog and digital, are available in many areas; in rural areas, the 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)
Radios 
61.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
7,306 (1998)
Televisions 
60.5 million (1997)
Internet country code 
.ru
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
35 (2000)
Internet users 
18 million (2002)

Transportation

Railways 
total: 87,157 km
broad gauge: 86,200 km 1.520-m gauge (40,300 km are electrified)
narrow gauge: 957 km 1.067-m gauge (installed on Sakhalin Island)
note: an additional 63,000 km of broad gauge routes serve specific industries and are not available for common carrier use (2002)
Highways 
total: 952,000 km
paved: 752,000 km (including about 336,000 km of conventionally paved roads, and about 416,000 km of roads with all-weather gravel surfaces)
unpaved: 200,000 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1998)
Waterways 
95,900 km (total routes in general use)
note: routes with navigation guides serving the Russian River Fleet - 95,900 km; routes with night navigational aids - 60,400 km; man-made navigable routes - 16,900 km (Jan 1994)
Pipelines 
crude oil 48,000 km; petroleum products 15,000 km; natural gas 140,000 km (June 1993 est.)
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: 888 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,390,745 GRT/5,357,436 DWT
ships by type: barge carrier 1, bulk 21, cargo 556, chemical tanker 7, combination bulk 21, combination ore/oil 6, container 29, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger 41, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 153, refrigerated cargo 22, roll on/roll off 20, short-sea passenger 7
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, United Kingdom 5, United States 1 (2002 est.)
Airports 
2,743 (2001)
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

Military branches 
Ground Forces, Navy, Air Forces, Space Forces, Airborne Forces, Strategic Rocket Forces
Military manpower - military age 
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 38,906,796 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 30,392,946 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually 
males: 1,242,778 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
2001 Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation commits Russia and China to seek peaceable unanimity over disputed alluvial islands at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers and a small island on the Argun; Russia hastens to delimit and demarcate boundary with Kazakhstan to limit illegal border activities; in 2002, Russia is the first state to submit data to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to extend its continental shelf by claiming two undersea ridges in the Arctic; Russia signed bilateral agreements with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan delimiting the Caspian seabed, but littoral states are far from multilateral agreement on dividing the waters and seabed regimes - Iran insists on division of Caspian Sea into five equal sectors while Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan have generally agreed upon equidistant seabed boundaries; despite recent discussions, Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia's fishing rights beyond Svalbard's territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone; Russia continues to reject signing and ratifying the joint December 1996 technical border agreement with Estonia; the Russian Duma refuses to ratify boundary treaties signed with Latvia and Lithuania; Russia and Ukraine have successfully delimited land boundary in 2001, but disagree on delimitation of maritime boundary in the Sea of Azov and Black Sea; boundary with Georgia has been largely delimited, but not demarcated; several small, strategic segments remain in dispute; islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, and Shikotan, and the Habomai group occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, claimed by Japan
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 the US; major source of heroin precursor chemicals; corruption and organized crime are key concerns; heroin increasingly popular in domestic market

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