U.S. Department of State 
Background Notes:  Russia, October 1995 
Bureau of Public Affairs 
October 1995 
Official Name:   Russian Federation 
Area:  17 million sq. km. (6.5 million sq. mi.); about 1.8 times the 
size of the U.S.   
Cities:  Capital--Moscow (pop. 9 million).  Other cities--St. Petersburg 
(5 million), Novosibirsk  (1.4 million). 
Terrain:  Broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous 
forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains (Caucasus range) 
along southern borders.   
Climate:  Northern continental, from subarctic to subtropical. 
Nationality:  Noun and adjective--Russian(s).   
Population (1994 est.): 148 million.  
Annual growth rate:  0%.   
Ethnic groups:  Russian 81%, Tatar 4%, Ukrainian 3%, Chuvash 1.2%. 
Religion:  Russian Orthodox, Islamic, Jewish, Roman Catholic, 
Protestant, Buddhist, other.  
Language:  Russian (official); more than 140 other languages and 
Education:  Literacy--(ages 5-49) 100%.   
Health:  Infant mortality rate--28/1,000.  Life expectancy--62 yrs. men, 
74 yrs. women.   
Workforce:  72 million.  Production and economic services--84%.  
Type:  Federation.   
Independence:  August 24, 1991. 
Constitution:  December 12, 1993. 
Branches:  Executive--president, prime minister (chairman of the 
government).  Legislative--Federal Assembly (Federation Council, State 
Duma).  Judicial--Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Supreme Court of 
Arbitration, Office of Procurator General. 
Political parties:  Russia's Choice,  Liberal Democrats Party, Agrarian 
Party, Communist Party of the Russian Federations, Unity and Accord, 
Yabloko Bloc, Women of Russia, Democratic Party of Russia, Russia's 
Subdivisions:  21 autonomous republics and 68 autonomous territories and 
Suffrage:  Universal at 18 years. 
Economy (1994 est.) 
GDP:  $249 billion. 
Growth rate:  -10%. 
Per capita GDP:  $1,682. 
Natural resources:  Petroleum, natural gas, timber, furs. 
Agriculture:  Grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, meat, dairy products. 
Industry:  Complete range of manufactures (automobiles, trucks, trains, 
agricultural equipment, advanced aircraft, aerospace, machine and 
equipment products), mining and extractive industry, medical and 
scientific instruments, construction equipment. 
Trade:  Exports--$48 billion:  petroleum and petroleum products, natural 
gas, woods and wood products, metals, chemicals.  Major markets--EU, 
NIS, United States, Japan, China.  Imports--$28 billion:  machinery and 
equipment, chemicals, consumer goods, medicines, meat, sugar, 
semifinished metal products.  Major partners--EU, United States, NIS, 
Japan, China.  (These figures do not include "shuttle"--or informal, 
unrecorded--trade.  Estimates for all trade are:  exports--$66 billion, 
imports--$51 billion.) 
Principal U.S. exports:  machinery, aircraft, meat.  
Principal U.S. imports:  aluminum, crude oil, platinum, oil products, 
iron and steel. 
The area of the entire former Soviet Union was 22 million sq. km. (8.7 
million sq. mi.), and its population was about 260 million.  Russia's 
area is about 17 million sq. km. (6.5 million sq. mi.).  It remains the 
largest country in the world by more than 2.5 million sq. mi.  Its 
population density is about 23 persons per square mile (9 per sq. km.), 
making it one of the least populated countries in the world.  Its 
society is predominantly urban.   
Most of the roughly 150 million Russians derive from the Eastern Slavic 
family of peoples, whose original homeland was probably present-day 
Poland.  As the official language of Russia, an official language in the 
United Nations, and as a lingua franca among the New Independent States, 
Russian--one of the Slavic languages--has great importance 
internationally.  As the language of writers such as Tolstoy, 
Dostoevsky, Chekov, Pushkin, and Solzhenitsyn, it has great importance 
in world literature as well. 
Russia's educational system has produced nearly 100% literacy.  About 3 
million students attend Russia's 519 institutions of higher education 
and 48 universities.  As the result of great emphasis on science and 
technology in education, Russian medical, mathematical, scientific, and 
space and aviation research is generally of a high order.  Since the 
collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian scientists have been allowed more 
academic freedom and freedom of movement.  In some cases, this freedom 
has resulted in a serious depletion of the country's human resources, as 
many scientists have emigrated to other countries.  Many Russian Jews 
continue to emigrate to the West and to Israel.  The number of doctors 
in relation to the population is high by American standards, although 
medical care in Russia, even in major cities, is far below Western 
The Russian labor force of 72 mil-lion workers is undergoing tremendous 
changes.  Although well-educated and skilled, it is mismatched to the 
rapidly changing needs of the Russian economy.  For example, Russia has 
a large surplus of scientists, and the largest portion of the workforce 
continues to work in obsolete Soviet-era industries.  Millions of 
Russian workers are underemployed.  Unemployment is highest among women 
and young people.  As many as 6 million workers were temporarily 
furloughed in the past year.  Many Russian workers compensate by working 
other part-time jobs.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 
standard of living fell dramatically, but it has begun to recover. 
Moscow is the largest city (population 9 million) and is the capital of 
the federation.  Moscow continues to be the center of Russian Government 
and is increasingly important as an economic and business center.  Its 
cultural tradition is rich, and visitors will find many museums devoted 
to art, literature, music, dance, history, and science.  It has hundreds 
of churches and some notable cathedrals.   
St. Petersburg, established in 1703 by Peter the Great as the capital of 
the Russian Empire, was called Petrograd during World War I; just days 
after the death of Lenin in 1924, it was renamed Leningrad. In 1991, as 
the result of a city referendum, it was renamed St. Petersburg.  Under 
the czars, the city was Russia's cultural, intellectual, commercial, 
financial, and industrial center.  After the capital was moved back to 
Moscow in 1918, the city declined but remained a cultural and military-
industrial center.  It continues to be a center for publications, 
education, and scientific research.  St. Petersburg has about 30 
theaters, concert halls, opera houses, and "palaces of culture."  The 
Hermitage is one of the world's great museums. Finally, Vladivostok, 
located in the Russian Far East, is becoming an important trade center 
with the Pacific Rim countries. 
The vast Eurasian territory comprising historic Russia shows abundant 
evidence of human occupation dating back to Paleolithic times.  Written 
history indicates that Greek traders conducted extensive commerce with 
Scythian tribes around the shores of the Black Sea and the Crimean 
region.  In the third century B.C., Scythians were displaced by 
Sarmatians, who in turn were overrun by waves of Germanic Goths in the 
third century A.D.  Asiatic Huns replaced the Goths and were in turn 
conquered by Turkic Avars in the sixth century.  By the ninth century, 
Eastern Slavs began to settle Ukraine, Belorussia, and around Novgorod 
and Smolensk. 
In 862, the political entity known as Kievan Rus was established in what 
is now Ukraine and lasted until the 12th century.  In the 10th century, 
Christianity became the state religion under Vladimir, who adopted Greek 
Orthodox rites.  Consequently, Byzantine culture predominated, as is 
evident widely today in Russia's architectural, musical, and art 
Over the next centuries, various invaders assaulted the Kievan state, 
and finally, Mongols under Batu Khan destroyed the main population 
centers except for Novgorod and Pskov and prevailed over the region 
until 1480.  Under Ivan I, Moscow began to assume pre-eminence over 
other cities; Muscuvite czars threw off the Mongol influence and 
gradually expanded their domain through diplomacy and war, until Ivan 
III (1462-1505) was able to refer to his empire as "the Third Rome" and 
heir to the Byzantine tradition. 
The next 200 years saw the ebb and flow of regional conflict, until the 
Romanov dynasty was established under Czar Michael in 1613.  This 
dynasty ended with the liquidation of the Romanov family by the 
Bolsheviks in 1917. 
During Peter the Great's reign (1689-1725), Russia burst into European 
and world consciousness, and European influences spread throughout 
Russia in ways still manifesting themselves in the history and current 
fortunes of Russia and its neighbors.  He created Western style military 
forces, subordinated the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy to the czar, 
reformed the entire governmental structure, and established the 
beginnings of a Western-style education system.  His introduction of 
European customs generated nationalistic resentments in society, and a 
philosophical duality of "Westernizers" and nationalistic "Slavophiles" 
emerged over the next centuries.  This dualism manifested itself in 
various ways over time and since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 
1991 has re-emerged as a key dynamic of current Russian social and 
political thought. 
Peter's expansionist policies were pursued aggressively by Catherine the 
Great (reigned 1762-96), who established Russia as a continental power.  
During her reign, power continued to centralize around the Romanovs and 
administrative reforms put great wealth and privilege firmly in the 
hands of the Russian nobility.  Russian culture flowering during her 
reign formed the basis for Russia's cultural outpourings in music, 
literature, art, and dance, particularly of the 19th century. 
Napoleon failed in his attempt in 1812 to conquer Russia after occupying 
Moscow; his total collapse, and attempts by Europe's great powers to 
restore continental order at the Congress of Vienna (1814-15), set the 
stage for Russia and Austria to dominate the affairs of eastern Europe 
for the next century. 
During the 19th century, which saw great social, economic, and political 
change in the rest of Europe, the Western Hemisphere, and Asia, the 
Russian Government sought to suppress repeated attempts at reform from 
within as well as in such neighboring states as Hungary and Poland.  Its 
economy failed to compete with those of Western countries, and pressures 
for social and political change continued to build under the weight of 
agrarian traditions, the feudal serf system, and untrammeled and 
wasteful privilege among the aristocracy.  Russian cities were also 
growing but did not have an industrial base to generate employment.  
This shortfall was especially acute after the emancipation of serfs in 
1861.  Countering these reactionary pressures politically was dynamic 
expansion across Siberia until the port of Vladivostok was opened on the 
Pacific coast in 1860.  Great accomplishments such as the Trans-Siberian 
Railroad opened vast frontiers to development late in the century but 
did not solve fundamental problems of economic opportunity and 
prosperity for the majority of Russian subjects. 
Centuries of successful imperialistic expansion ended with the defeat in 
the unpopular Russo-Japanese war in 1905.  Subsequent disaffection 
fueled the successful Revolution of 1905 and spurred Czar Nicholas II 
tactically to grant a constitution.  However, hopes for reform were 
short-lived.  Brutal suppressions by the government grew into programs 
of police terror, and manipulations of popular anger were channeled into 
antisemitic pogroms and other actions against national groups.  State 
abuses contrasted with official attempts at conciliation, such as land 
1917 Revolution and the U.S.S.R. 
Ultimately, both approaches failed, and the ruinous effects of the World 
War I, combined with internal pressures, sparked the March 1917 
revolution.  Alexander Kerenski became Premier.  On November 7, 1917, 
the Marxist-Leninist Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, seized 
control and established the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic.  
Civil war broke out in 1918 between Lenin's "Red" forces and Kerenski's 
"Whites" and lasted until 1920, when, despite foreign interventions, the 
Bolsheviks triumphed.  After the Red army conquered Ukraine, Belorussia, 
Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia, a new nation was formed in 1922, the 
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 
The U.S.S.R. lasted 69 years; for more than half that time, it ranked as 
a nuclear superpower.  In the 1930s, tens of millions of its citizens 
were collectivized under state agricultural and industrial enterprises 
and millions died in political purges and the vast penal and labor 
system or in state-created famines.  During World War II, as many as 20 
million Soviet citizens died. 
The U.S.S.R.'s chief political figures were Lenin, leader of the 
Bolshevik party and head of the first Soviet Government, who died in 
1924.  In the late 1920's, Joseph Stalin emerged as General Secretary of 
the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) amidst intraparty 
rivalries and maintained complete control over Soviet domestic and 
international policy until his death in 1953.  His successor, Nikita 
Khrushchev, served as Communist Party leader until he was ousted in 
1964.  Aleksey Kosygin became Chairman of the Council of Ministers and 
Leonid Brezhnev was made First Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee 
in 1964, but in 1971, Brezhnev rose to become "first among equals" in a 
collective leadership.  Brezhnev died in 1982 and was succeeded by Yuriy 
Andropov (1982-84), Konstantin Chernenko (1984-85), and Mikhail 
Gorbachev, who resigned as Soviet President on December 25, 1991.  On 
December 26, 1991, the U.S.S.R. formally was dissolved. 
The Russian Federation 
The Russian Federation's independence dates from August 24, 1991.  After 
the December 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian 
Federation became its largest successor state, inheriting its permanent 
seat on the United Nations Security Council, as well as the bulk of its 
foreign assets and debt.  Almost all of the former Soviet republics 
agreed to retain a vehicle for mutual discussion and cooperation--the 
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).  Georgia joined the CIS in 
late 1993.     
Boris Yeltsin was elected President of Russia by popular vote in June 
1991.  By the fall of 1993, politics in Russia reached a stalemate 
between President Yeltsin and the parliament.  The parliament had 
succeeded in blocking, overturning, or ignoring the President's 
initiatives on drafting a new constitution, conducting new elections, 
and making further progress on democratic and economic reforms.     
In a dramatic speech on September 21, 1993, President Yeltsin dissolved 
the Russian parliament and scheduled national elections for December 12, 
1993.  After an armed insurrection by opposition supporters failed on 
October 3, Yeltsin ordered the army to take over the parliament building 
(called the White House) in Moscow. 
Two houses of the new Russian parliament were elected in December 1993--
the upper Federation Council (170 members) and the lower State Duma (450 
members).  Half of the new Duma members were elected from party lists 
and the other half in single-seat races in individual election 
districts.  Pro-reform groups won a total of 112 Duma seats.  
Independents won 135 seats, while representatives from other parties 
gained 15 seats.  The opposition, a diverse group, aimed for a unified 
position but remained divided over key political and economic issues and 
whether to participate in mainstream politics.  Fifty-four percent (58 
million) of the registered voters participated in the December 12, 1993 
elections.  A new constitution took effect the same day. 
In the political system established by the 1993 constitution, the 
president wields considerable executive power.  There is no vice 
president, and the legislative is subordinate to the executive.  The 
president nominates the highest state officials--including the prime 
minister, who must be approved by the Duma; he may dissolve the Duma if 
it repeatedly turns down his choice of prime minister.  The president 
can pass decrees without consent from the Duma.  He also is head of the 
armed forces and of the potentially powerful security council.  
Although the parliament elected in December 1993 has been more moderate 
and effective than many observers had predicted after the elections, 
coordination between the upper and lower houses is troublesome.  Both 
houses are divided between many parties, and groups with little 
attachment to democracy--including communists and extreme nationalists--
hold large numbers of seats, slowing the passage of laws on democratic 
and economic reforms. 
Russia is nominally a federation, but the precise distribution of powers 
between the central government and the regional and local authorities is 
still evolving.  The Russian Federation consists of 89 components, 
including two "cities of federal significance," Moscow and St. 
Petersburg.  The constitution explicitly defines the federal 
government's exclusive powers, but it also describes most key regional 
issues as the joint responsibility of the federal government and the 
Federation components. 
President Yeltsin has opposed most local elections, preferring to 
appoint regional governors directly.  Relations between Moscow and the 
federation components are largely stable.  The war in Chechnya (see box) 
has not spawned separatist movements elsewhere. 
Chechnya is a symptom and a result of Russia's uneven movement toward a 
functional democracy.  Making democracy a reality in Russia is hampered 
by the limited public trust of virtually all public institutions.  
Average Russians have a poor understanding of the benefits of democracy, 
associating it with social disorder, crime, corruption, and economic 
hardship they have recently experienced.  But in spite of setbacks in 
Russia's democratic development, the country has made some progress in 
governmental and human rights reform over the past four years. 
Russia's ill-conceived and badly executed military operation in the 
republic of Chechnya overshadows Russia's internal political and human 
rights situation.  In the course of the two months it took for the 
Russian forces to capture the republic's capital of Grozny, at least 
2,000 Russian soldiers, several thousand Chechen fighters, and perhaps 
15,000 to 20,000 civilians--ethnic Russians as well as Chechens--were 
killed; huge areas of the capital were destroyed.  Russian forces were 
repeatedly and credibly reported to have used indiscriminate and 
excessive force against non-combatants.  From December 11, 1994--when 
the military operation against Chechnya began--until May 15, 1995, 
Russian forces gained daytime control of large swaths of territory in 
Chechnya; the high levels of fighting included unconfirmed reports that 
Russian forces employed toxic chemicals against Chechen fighters and 
Peace talks between the Russians and Chechens, conducted under the 
auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe 
(OSCE), began on May 25, 1995.  On July 30, 1995, the two sides signed a 
military accord which called for a cease-fire, the complete disarmament 
of Chechen fighters, and withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya.  
The terms of the armistice have not yet been fully implemented, and no 
overarching political settlement--addressing the final status of 
Chechnya--has been reached. 
Elections have generally been free and fair.  Parliamentary elections 
are scheduled for December 17, 1995, and presidential elections for June 
1996.  The President and Duma have approved a new federal electoral law.  
The official campaign period began September 17.  More than 250 
electoral blocs declared their intention to stand candidates. 
At the same time, the political environment in Russia is more unclear 
now than at any time since the standoff at the White House in October 
1993.  A number of competing election blocs have been formed, and 
Russian reformists who charged the Russian Government with major human 
rights abuses in Chechnya are increasingly cut off politically. 
Largely because of Chechnya, President Yeltsin is isolated from his 
traditional reformist allies, and his popularity has fallen to historic 
lows.  Thus far, his misfortune has not redounded to the benefit of any 
other political leader; no other politician has emerged as a natural 
successor.  The low popularity of all the likely candidates, coupled 
with the enormous apathy of the Russian electorate, makes unpredictable 
for now the election outcomes.  Despite much public discussion about 
postponing the presidential elections, President Yeltsin has repeatedly 
pledged that they will be held as scheduled. 
Judicial System 
Russia's judiciary is still weak.  The reconvening of the Constitutional 
Court was an important step in the country's judicial reform and had 
been anxiously awaited.  It remains to be seen what role the court will 
play.  Suspended by President Yeltsin in October 1993, the reconstituted 
and redefined Constitutional Court held its first session on March 16.  
The 1993 constitution empowers the court to arbitrate disputes between 
the executive and legislative branches and between Moscow and the 
regional and local governments.  The court is also authorized to rule on 
violations of constitutional rights, examine appeals from various 
bodies, and participate in impeachment proceedings against the 
president.  The July 1994 Law on the Constitutional Court prohibits the 
court from examining cases on its own initiative and limits the scope of 
issues the court can hear. 
In the past three years, the Russian Government has made substantial 
efforts to reform the criminal justice system and judicial institutions.  
Despite these efforts, judges are only beginning to assert their 
constitutionally mandated independence from other branches of 
government.  This has been hampered by the slow passage of laws and by 
inadequate funding for judicial reforms on the part of Federation and 
regional governments.  In addition, judges have not received necessary 
training and are totally dependent on the Ministry of Justice for court 
infrastructure and financial support and on local authorities for their 
Human Rights 
Russia's human rights record remains uneven despite human rights 
guarantees in the 1993 constitution.  One of the most basic differences 
from pre-democratic times in Russia is the empowerment of human rights 
non-governmental organizations and the press to investigate and publish.  
The often-critical coverage of Chechnya has demonstrated the degree to 
which the media are substantially free and express a wide range of 
views.  The government placed intermittent restrictions on press 
covering the war in Chechnya, citing the need to protect military 
secrets and to ensure journalists' safety.  The government also put 
heavy pressure on media representatives to follow the official line on 
the conflict. 
There is still a great deal of official and societal ambiguity on the 
place of human rights in Russia.  The Duma relieved Parliamentary Human 
Rights Ombudsman Sergey Kovalev of his duties after he publicized 
Russian atrocities in Chechnya.  In August 1995, the Presidential Human 
Rights Commission, headed by Kovalev, was rumored to be disbanded.  
Instances of harassment of foreigners, political opponents, and human 
rights activists by elements of the security services continue, making 
the recent expansion of the powers of the Federal Security Service, a 
successor to the Soviet KGB, a cause for concern. 
Freedom of assembly, association, religion, speech, and media are 
generally respected in Russia, although many important acts of 
legislation in these areas have still not been passed. President Clinton 
recognized the reality of freedom of emigration by declaring that Russia 
is in compliance with Jackson-Vanik provisions.  Certain practices, 
however, have not been codified into law due to the difficulty of 
passing legislation.  The law proposed in 1991 on exit and entry is 
being implemented even though it is not officially in the law books. 
Restrictions on freedom of travel are still imposed through the 
selective enforcement of the propiska (residence permit) system, most 
often against dark-complexioned people.  Refugees from Central Asia and 
the Caucasus still meet discrimination in the major cities. 
Antisemitism continues to be a problem in Russia despite welcome efforts 
by Russian officials to discourage it and all forms of anti-democratic 
behavior.  Statements by Russian leaders cannot by themselves eradicate 
the roots of intolerance.  Efforts to discourage all forms of 
intolerance at all levels of the Russian Government should be 
In addition to human rights violations in Chechnya and the issues 
discussed above, other issues of special concern include: unclear or 
unenforced laws, police brutality, unfit prison conditions, hazing in 
the armed forces, violence against women, and bureaucratic obstacles to 
the development of independent labor unions. 
Principal Government Officials 
President--Boris Yeltsin 
Prime Minister--Viktor Chernomyrdin 
First Deputy Prime Ministers--Oleg Soskovets and Anatoliy Chubays 
Key Ministers 
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Economic Relations--Oleg 
Communications--Vladimir Bulgak 
Culture--Yevgeniy Sidorov 
Defense--Pavel Grachev 
Economic Affairs--Yevgeniy Yasin 
Environment and Natural Resources--Viktor Danilov-Danilyan 
Foreign Affairs--Andrey Kozyrev 
Fuel/Energy--Yuri Shafranik 
Health--Eduard Nechayev 
Interior--Anatoliy Kulikov 
Justice--Valentin Kovalev 
Nationalities--Vyacheslav Mikhailov 
Nuclear Energy--Viktor Mikhailov 
Science and Technology--Boris Saltykov 
Ambassador to Washington--Yuli Vorontsov 
Ambassador to the United Nations--Sergey Lavrov 
The Russian Federation maintains an embassy at 2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW,  
Washington, DC  20007 (tel. 202-298-5700) and a consulate at 1825 Phelps 
Place NW, Washington, DC  20008 (tel. 202-939-8907).  Russian consulates 
are also located in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.   
As it moves from a centrally planned economy to a free market system, 
the Russian economy has undergone considerable stress.  The country has 
established new ties in the world economy while links to its traditional 
trade partners have diminished.  Russia accounts for more than one-half 
of the population of the New Independent States (NIS) of the former 
Soviet Union and 60% of their total gross domestic product.   
GDP.  GDP fell 19% in 1992,  another 12% in 1993, and 10% in 1994.  But 
industrial production rose slightly in July 1994, for the first time 
since 1993.  Production of consumer durables, including automobiles and 
appliances, as well as food processing are also increasing.  In 1993, 
transport was down by 25% from the previous year's volume, construction 
materials by 15%, and agriculture by 4%.  Oil extraction and natural gas 
production fell slightly.  The service sector of the economy, as 
recorded in official statistics, grew almost 45% in 1993 over 1992, to 
42% of total GDP.  But official statistics miss significant economic 
activity in the private sector and parallel economy.  Official 
unemployment was only 1% of the work force in 1993, but this figure 
omits an estimated 4-5 million who work reduced hours or are on 
voluntary leave.  The government forecasts 7 million unemployed--about 
12% of the working population, by the end of 1994. 
Monetary Policy.  Inflation rose to a peak of 30% per month by January 
1993.  Since then, monthly inflation has declined, albeit in fits and 
starts.  The government has pursued various economic policies, including 
raising interest rates, reducing or ending subsidies, and otherwise 
trying to stabilize the macroeconomy.  Russia abolished the ruble zone 
in mid-1993, which forced other NIS republics to issue their own 
currencies and had a positive impact on Russian inflation.  The ruble, 
which is now traded daily against major currencies at the Moscow 
Interbank Currency Exchange, depreciated steadily against the dollar 
during 1994.   
Government Spending/Taxation.  The Duma has passed a 1995 budget with a 
projected deficit of less than 6% of GDP--austere enough to satisfy the 
International Monetary Fund. A value-added-tax (VAT) was introduced in 
1992 and accounted for 25% of government revenues in 1993.  Russia's tax 
base has steadily eroded, due to the decline in industrial production 
and the lack of liquidity in large sectors of the economy.  A 
significant proportion of taxes and trade duties is unpaid.   
Privatization.  Russia has made significant headway in privatizing many 
economic sectors.  More than 50% of GDP is now produced in the market 
economy.  More than one-half of the work force is in the private sector, 
and 70% of state-controlled industry has been privatized since reforms 
began in 1992.  There are 270,000 private farms.  About 30% of state-
owned housing (about 8 million dwellings) had been turned over to 
private individuals by the end of 1993.  State-subsidized rents and 
utilities, however, continue to discourage individual home ownership.   
Income.  Disposable income increased by 10% in 1993.  With the sharp 
rise in consumer purchasing power, Russians spend a lower proportion of 
their income for foodstuffs and essentials.  Consumers make 70% of their 
purchases in the private sector to take advantage of better selection, 
quality, and service.  Food availability and real per capita income have 
improved or stabilized, but social welfare problems, such as increased 
crime and health care shortages, are serious.  The gap between rich and 
poor appears to have widened; about 20% of the population lives below 
the official poverty level. 
Law.  In 1993, Russia passed a new bankruptcy law prepared with the 
assistance of the American Bar Association.  But lack of legislation in 
most areas of economic activity is a pressing issue.  Taxation and 
business regulation are unpredictable, and legal enforcement of private 
business agreements is almost nonexistent.  Many government decisions 
affecting business have been inconsistent.  An growing crime wave has 
swept over Russia and has increased costs for local and foreign 
Natural Resources.  With the mineral-packed Ural mountains and the vast 
oil, gas, coal, and timber reserves of Siberia and the Russian Far East, 
Russia is rich in natural resources. Unfortunately, most are located in 
remote and climatically unfavorable areas that are difficult to develop 
and are far from Russian ports.  Oil and gas continue to be the main 
sources of hard currency.  Russia is a leading producer and exporter of 
minerals and gold and all major fuels.  The Russian fishing industry is 
the world's fourth-largest-- behind Japan, the U.S., and China.  Russia 
accounts for one-quarter of the world's production of fresh and frozen 
fish and for about one-third of world output of canned fish.   
Industry.  Russia is one of the most industrialized of the former Soviet 
republics.  Besides its resource-based industries, it has developed 
large manufacturing capacities, notably in machinery.  Russia inherited 
most of the defense industrial base of the Soviet Union; converting it 
to civilian use is the major goal of the present government.  The share 
of defense-industrial output going to civil purposes reportedly 
increased from 40% in 1988 to 80% in 1993, a result of sharp cut-backs 
in weapons production.   
Agriculture.  In 1993, agriculture accounted for about 13% of GDP and 
about 13% of total employment.  Russia comprises roughly three-quarters 
of the territory of the NIS, yet has relatively little fertile soil for 
its great size since most of its territory is under permafrost and 
unsuited for agriculture.  Droughts generally afflict Russia every three 
years.  Northern areas concentrate mainly on livestock farming, and the 
southern parts and western Siberia produce grain.  Agricultural 
production, chiefly grain and potatoes, accounts for more than one-half 
of that for the entire NIS.  Radical reform of agriculture comprises one 
of the pillars of post-communist transformation in Russia.   
Investment.  Cumulative foreign investment in Russia is estimated at $5 
billion to $7 billion, with U.S. investment making up as much as $2 
billion of the total.  In 1994 alone, total foreign investment was $3 
billion to $4 billion (this includes both direct and portfolio 
investment).  Although the ruble crisis in October 1994 and other 
political and economic disruptions seemed to have a negative effect on 
portfolio investment, direct investment remained stable.  Major areas of 
interest for U.S. investors have been in energy, food processing, 
telecommunications, and automobiles.  Joint ventures between Russian and 
foreign firms account for an increasing share of Russian output and 
trade and are concentrated in the services sector. 
Trade.  By mid-1994, Russia had liberalized domestic trade and 
dismantled virtually all non-tariff restrictions on foreign trade.  
State-subsidized imports were phased out in 1994, as was the system of 
quotas and licensing for exports except for a few commodities involving 
international commitments.  To bolster future foreign trade, Russia 
applied in June 1993 to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 
(GATT)--predecessor to the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Import 
tariffs rose from zero to an average 7% to 8% in 1993; a tariff 
averaging 15% was introduced in July 1994.   
Russia has been running a trade surplus since 1993, due both to 
increased exports (of commodities such as petroleum and aluminum) and 
lower imports (including grain).  It has increased official foreign 
exchange reserves from $4.5 billion in January 1994 to about $7 billion 
as of September 1994.  Capital flight remains a serious problem.   
Russia's trade is dominated by Europe; Germany and the countries of 
Central and Eastern Europe hold the lead.  Japan and China are Russia's 
largest Asian trading partners; the U.S. has overtaken Cuba in trade 
with the Americas.  Trade with the other NIS states is overwhelmingly in 
industrial products; Ukraine and Kazakhstan are by far the most 
important trade partners.  Russia continues to supply large amounts of 
energy to the NIS states at a discount, although it has tied government 
credits to debt repayment.  Eurasian markets are of vital importance--
supplies sustain vulnerable Russian industries, and the countries are on 
Russian transportation lines to hard-currency customers in Europe and 
Debt.  Russia assumed 61% of the Soviet Union's debt in 1991.  Total 
foreign debt is more than $80 billion, $45 billion of which is owed to 
the Paris Club, $25 billion to the London Club, and the remainder to 
other countries and suppliers.  The government has rescheduled its 
official debt payment obligations but has not yet done so with some of 
its commercial creditors.  In 1993, the U.S. and other bilateral 
creditors rescheduled about $15 billion of Russia's debt service 
payments.  Paris Club creditors agreed to a one-year rescheduling of 
$7.1 billion of debt service in 1994.  The Russian Government says that 
it is owed $140 billion by other countries but acknowledges that much of 
what was lent by the Soviet Union will never be repaid.  Russia expects 
to receive $1.5 billion from its debtors in 1994, primarily in payments 
in kind.  
Banking.  The Russian commercial banking system has rapidly progressed 
in the five years of its existence.  The largest banks are approaching 
Western standards, offering a full range of services.  Many of the 2,000 
registered commercial banks are small--only 10% have a capital base 
exceeding $1 million--and 300 are authorized to deal with foreign 
currency accounts.  Sixty Russian banks are members of the Society for 
Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, and others have 
correspondent relationships with U.S. and other foreign banks that allow 
for electronic fund transfers between Russia and other countries.   In 
1993, Citibank and Chase Manhattan Bank became the first U.S. banks to 
receive a general license to open a subsidiary in Russia; there are now 
12 Western banks with operating licenses.  Currency inconvertibility--
which used to be a major concern for Western traders, investors, and 
tourists--largely  has been overcome by the opening of currency 
exchanges and direct interbank trading through Russia.   
Health.  Russia is experiencing serious public health problems whose 
causes are related to the country's social and economic changes and a 
health care system inherited from the Soviet era.  The life expectancy 
from birth has declined, and the leading causes of death are 
cardiovascular disease, cancer, accidents, and respiratory conditions.  
With falling immunization coverage, preventable illnesses such as 
diphtheria and tuberculosis are on the rise; plans are underway to 
develop domestic production of vaccines as well as other 
pharmaceuticals.  Environmental conditions for many Russians are also a 
health concern.  These factors, along with underfunding and poor health 
care management, are contributing to the public health problems in 
Multilateral Assistance.  Since 1990, the international community has 
worked together to provide economic assistance on a scale unparalleled 
since the end of World War II.  The United States is the largest source 
of technical assistance.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF), World 
Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have large-
scale lending and investment programs in Russia amounting to billions of 
dollars.  The Group of Seven industrialized nations also has committed 
more than $12 billion in bilateral financing.  The European Union and 
individual donor countries are also providing substantial technical 
assistance and financial support for programs in the NIS. 
Environmental Issues.  The Russian Government inherited serious 
environmental problems.  Air pollution and inadequate supplies of 
uncontaminated water affect the health of the population and contribute 
to increased infant mortality rates.  Radioactive pollution--generated 
by military nuclear testing and unsafe nuclear power plants, institutes, 
and laboratories--is especially dangerous.  In cooperation with the 
international community, Russia is working to develop sound 
environmental policies.  It has established a Ministry of Environment 
and has introduced a pollution-fee system by which taxes are levied on 
air and water emissions and solid waste disposal, with the resulting 
revenues channeled to environmental protection activities.  Russia also 
aims to develop regional cooperation among the NIS on transborder 
environmental problems. 
Highlights From 1994 of Russian Infrastructure Projects 
International Space Station.  Russia and the U.S. engaged in a joint 
flight program to lead to the development of the inter-national space 
station.  Key elements include:  U.S. astronauts on board the Mir space 
station for approximately two years; up to 10 U.S. shuttle docking 
missions; and $400 million contract for the provision of hardware, joint 
technology, and on-board research support by U.S. firms. 
Sakhalin Island Development.  The Marathon, McDermott, Mitsui, 
Mitsubishi, and Shell Sakhalin II consortium planned to develop large 
oil and gas fields offshore Sakhalin Island in a $10 billion project. 
Timan Pechora Exploration.  Texaco was involved in a $2.5 billion 
greenfield oil exploration project in the Timan Pechora region of the 
Komi republic. 
Civil Aviation.  Russian manufacturers were using Western engines and 
avionics to bring the Russian civil fleet up to world standards. 
Civil Shipbuilding and Harbor Modernization.  Russia sought to modernize 
the St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, and other ports. Russian shipyards  
built oil tankers, fishing trawlers, cargo ships, and pleasure craft. 
Defense Conversion.  The Russian Government sought to turn Russian 
defense firms into the major suppliers of consumer and industrial goods.  
The defense sector has been producing nearly all of Russia's televisions 
and other electronic equipment, plus most washing machines and vacuum 
Telecommunications.  U.S. West was involved in a $40 million upgrade of 
Russian telecommunications, involving 50,000 kilometers of fiber and 
microwave lines and 50 digital exchanges in 50 Russian cities. 
On December 27, 1991, Russia assumed the seat formerly held by the 
Soviet Union in the UN Security Council.  Russia also is a member of the 
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the North 
Atlantic Cooperation Council.  It signed the NATO Partnership for Peace 
initiative on June 22, 1994.  On June 24, 1994, Russia and the European 
Union (EU) signed a partnership and cooperation agreement that provides 
for, inter alia, political dialogue at all levels; possible talks in 
1998 on a free-trade area; EU support for eventual Russian accession to 
the GATT (now WTO); and EU assistance on improving nuclear safety, 
restructuring state-run enterprises, and developing economic efficiency. 
Russia has played a constructive role in mediating international 
conflicts through its cosponsorship of the Middle East peace process and 
its support of UN and multilateral initiatives in the Persian Gulf, 
Cambodia, Angola, the former Yugoslavia, and Haiti.  Russia has affirmed 
its respect for international law and OSCE principles.  It has accepted 
UN and/or OSCE involvement in instances of regional conflict on its 
periphery, including the  dispatch of observers to Georgia, Moldova, 
Tajikistan, and Nagorno-Karabakh. 
Since the breakup of the U.S.S.R., the Russians have discussed 
rebuilding a viable, cohesive fighting force out of the remaining parts 
of the former Soviet armed forces.  A new Russian military doctrine, 
promulgated in November 1993, implicitly acknowledges the contraction of 
the old Soviet military into a regional military power without global 
imperial ambitions.  In keeping with its emphasis on the threat of 
regional conflicts, the doctrine calls for a Russian military that is 
smaller, lighter, and more mobile, with a higher degree of 
professionalism and with greater rapid deployment capability.  Such a 
transformation has proven difficult. 
The challenge of this task has been magnified by difficult economic 
conditions in Russia, which have resulted in reduced defense spending.  
This has led to training cutbacks and severe shortages of housing and 
other social amenities for military personnel, with a consequent 
lowering of morale, cohesion, and fighting effectiveness.  The evidently 
poor combat performance of the Russian armed forces in the Chechen 
conflict in part reflects these breakdowns. 
The current actual strength of the Russian armed forces probably falls 
between 1.4 and 1.6 million, with authorized strength several hundred 
thousand higher.  Weapons production in Russia has fallen dramatically 
over the past few years; between 1988 and 1993, it fell by at least 50% 
for virtually every major weapons system.  Weapons spending in 1992 was 
approximately 75% less than in 1988. 
About 70% of the former Soviet Union's defense industries are located in 
the Russian Federation.  A large number of state-owned defense 
enterprises are on the brink of collapse as a result of cuts in weapons 
orders and insufficient funding to shift to production of civilian 
goods, while at the same time trying to meet payrolls.  Many defense 
enterprises are now preparing for privatization, some with the help of 
private U.S. firms (see "Military Issues"). 
The Russian military, for the foreseeable future, will play a role in 
determining Russia's internal stability and in formulating national 
policies.  This role will be crucial to Russia in proceeding with 
political and economic reform and establishing a durable pattern of 
cooperation with the West. 
U.S. Support for Russian Democracy and Development 
The U.S. Government has been in the forefront of delivering 
privatization assistance to Russia since October 1992.  
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  USAID has the 
principal responsibility for implementing technical assistance to Russia 
and the other New Independent States.  In FY 1994, USAID devoted over 
$1.6 billion in assistance to help Russia develop democratic 
institutions and transform its state-controlled economy to one based on 
market principles.  Programs are active in the areas of privatization 
and private sector development, agriculture, energy, housing reform, 
health, environmental protection, economic restructuring, independent 
media, elections, and the rule of law.  The U.S. recently pledged $30 
million to help Russia in its fight against crime and to support a new 
legal infrastructure. 
U.S. Export-Import Bank (Eximbank).  Eximbank approved about $2 billion 
in loans, loan guarantees, and insurance for transactions in Russia from 
1991 to March 1995.  Of this total, more than $1 billion was approved 
under its Oil and Gas Framework Agreement. 
U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).  OPIC provides 
loans, loan guarantees, and commercial and political investment 
insurance to American companies investing in Russia.  As of FY 1994, 
OPIC approved more than $720 million in investment financing and over 
$1.4 billion in insurance for more than 40 projects.  The total 
investment value of these projects is more than $2.2 billion.  OPIC has 
reserved $500 million in finance and insurance assistance for Russia and 
other NIS defense conversion efforts. 
Trade and Development Agency (TDA) and Department of Commerce.  TDA has 
approved more than $45 million in funding for feasibility studies on 114 
investment projects.  
Commerce Department.  American Business Centers have been opened in St. 
Petersburg, Nizhnevartovsk, Novosibirisk, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, 
Yekaterinburg, Khaborovsk, Vladivostok, and Chelyabinsk to help U.S. and 
Russian companies do business in Russia.  An additional center in 
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk was planned for opening in 1995.  The Commerce 
Department has also established a Special American Business Internship 
Program (SABIT) in Russia, and an NIS business information system. 
Agricultural Credit.  For 1995, the U.S. has authorized $30 million in 
export credit guarantees in connection with sales of U.S. agricultural 
commodities under a private banking sector program in Russia as part of 
the Commodity Credit Corporation's Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-
U.S. Information Agency (USIA).  USIA continues diverse programs in 
public administration, communications, business, and education in 
Russia.  By 1995, more than 20,000 Russians will have participated in 
U.S.-sponsored exchanges.   
U.S. Department of Agriculture.  A variety of technical assistance 
activities are coordinated by USDA under the Emerging Democracies 
Program.  In March 1994, a U.S.-Russia Joint Commission for Agribusiness 
and Rural Development was established to channel funds generated by the 
sale of donated U.S. commodities to support private and social 
initiatives in rural communities throughout Russia.   
Eurasia Foundation.  The Foundation--a private, non-profit, grant-making 
organization supported by U.S. funds--has disbursed more than $24 
million in small grants to U.S. and indigenous organizations promoting 
reform in Russia and the other NIS. 
With the end of the Cold War and the reemergence of a Russian state, 
U.S. relations with Moscow have evolved rapidly.  At meetings in 
Vancouver, Tokyo, Moscow, and Washington, DC, Presidents Clinton and 
Yeltsin laid the basis for a U.S.-Russian partnership.  Progress has 
been made in several important fields, particularly in arms control.  
While disagreements persist on individual issues, the U.S. and Russia 
now consult on major issues of mutual and international interest.   
The United States actively supports Russian efforts to develop 
democratic institutions and a free market economy.  At summit meetings 
in Vancouver, Moscow, and Washington, DC, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin 
reaffirmed the fundamental importance of U.S.-Russian cooperation and 
agreed on a variety of bilateral initiatives to expand economic 
relations between the two countries and promote democratic and market 
reforms in Russia. 
U.S. assistance to Russia funds a variety of programs in the following 
key areas:  private-sector development, privatization and enterprise 
restructuring, trade and investment, democracy initiatives, energy, 
health care, housing, and environment.  Humanitarian assistance 
represented a major portion of U.S. aid during the initial transition 
phase in Russia, when there was a pressing need for food, medicine, and 
other essential commodities.  U.S. efforts now concentrate on technical 
assistance and direct support for trade and investment. 
Congress has appropriated substantial resources to support U.S. 
assistance to Russia and the other NIS.  In September 1993, Congress 
approved a special one-time assistance package of $2.45 billion aimed at 
helping all the NIS during the difficult period immediately following 
the fall of communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union.  
Approximately $1.6 billion of that amount was allocated for programs in 
Russia.  In August 1994, Congress passed a $850 million legislative 
package for assistance to the NIS in FY 1995, of which about 40% was 
targeted for Russia.  Assistance activities in FY 1995 were to continue 
ongoing programs to strengthen democratic practices and promote the 
development of private enterprise and market institutions.  There was to 
be a new emphasis in the 1995 program on direct support for U.S.-Russian 
trade and investment, which has been growing with the successful 
implementation of market reforms.  The 1995 program also was to include 
new activities to expand cooperation on strengthening the rule of law 
and fighting the rise in crime.  
U.S. obligations under all assistance programs total $3.65 billion, of 
which more than $2.6 billion has been expended.  Approvals for the 
financing of investment and non-food exports under U.S. commercial 
programs in Russia exceed $2.3 billion. 
Bilateral Economic Issues 
Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission.  Under the leadership of Vice President 
Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, the U.S. and Russia are working 
to advance bilateral cooperation through eight working committees known 
collectively as the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission.  The committees 
address issues in the fields of science and technology, business 
development, space, energy policy, environmental protection, health, 
defense diversification, and agriculture.  The Commission last met in 
Moscow in June 1995 and will again meet in January 1996. 
Trade and Investment.  At the September 1994 summit in Washington, DC, 
Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed to place new emphasis on expanding 
trade and investment.  They signed a joint statement on a "Partnership 
for Economic Cooperation," which will serve as a framework for reducing 
barriers to expanded economic cooperation.  President Clinton also 
announced that $100 million in FY 1995 assistance to the NIS would be 
used to provide direct support for trade and investment through the 
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Trade and 
Development Agency (TDA),  and the Commerce Department (see box on "U.S. 
Support for Russian Democracy and Development"). 
U.S.-Russia trade was about $5.8 billion in 1994.  The U.S.-Russia 
Business Development Committee (BDC) was established June 1992 in Lisbon 
and is co-chaired on the U.S. side by Commerce Secretary Ronald Brown.  
The BDC helps remove impediments to trade and investment.  The 1992 
U.S.-Russia trade agreement provides mutual most-favored-nation status 
and offers intellectual property rights protection.  In 1992, the two 
countries also signed treaties on the avoidance of double taxation and 
on bilateral investment.  The Russian parliament, however, has not 
ratified the bilateral investment treaty. 
In October 1993, Russia received generalized system of preferences (GSP) 
status under which more than $440 million of Russian goods will benefit.  
The U.S. supports Russia's application to become a member of the World 
Trade Organization.   
Military Issues 
As noted, Russia signed the NATO Partnership for Peace initiative in 
June 1994; the U.S. looks forward to Russia's active participation in 
Partnership for Peace.  The U.S. and Russia signed a memorandum of 
understanding on defense cooperation in September 1993 which 
institutionalized and expanded relations between defense ministries, 
including establishing a broad range of military-to-military contacts.  
The U.S. and Russia carried out a joint peacekeeping training exercise 
in Totskoye, Russia, in September 1994.  Based on the January 14, 1994, 
agreement between Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin, the two nations 
stopped targeting their strategic nuclear missiles at each other as of 
May 30, 1994. 
Agreements/Cooperation.  U.S. and Russian security cooperation 
emphasizes strategic stability, nuclear safety, dismantling nuclear 
weapons, preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and 
their delivery systems, and enhancing military-to-military contacts.  At 
the Lisbon summit in 1992, the United States signed a protocol to the 
START I Treaty with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine--where the 
strategic nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union were located--
making the four countries party to the treaty and committing all 
signatories to reductions in strategic nuclear weapons within the seven-
year period provided by the treaty.  The treaty entered into force 
December 5, 1994. 
On January 3, 1993, the U.S. and Russia signed the Treaty between the 
United States of America and the Russian Federation on Further 
Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II). This 
treaty reduces overall deployments of strategic nuclear weapons on each 
side by more than two-thirds from current levels and will eliminate the 
most destabilizing strategic weapons--heavy intercontinental ballistic 
missiles (ICBMs) and all other deployed multiple-warhead ICBMs.  At the 
September 1994 summit, the two nations agreed to immediately begin 
removing nuclear warheads due to be scrapped under START II--instead of 
taking the nine years allowed --once START I takes effect and the START 
II Treaty is ratified by both countries.  At their May 1995 summit, 
Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed on a set of principles that would 
guide further discussion in the field of demarcation between anti-
ballistic missile systems and theater missile defenses.  They also 
agreed on steps to increase the transparency and irreversibility of 
nuclear arms reduction and committed not to use in nuclear weapons newly 
produced fissile materials or fissile materials removed from nuclear 
weapons being eliminated and excess to national security requirements. 
Following ratification by Russia and the other NIS, the Conventional 
Armed Forces in Europe Treaty entered into force on November 9, 1992.  
This treaty establishes comprehensive limits on key categories of 
military equipment--tanks, artillery, armored combat vehicles, combat 
aircraft, and combat helicopters--and provides for the destruction of 
weaponry in excess of these limits. 
Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR).   Often called Nunn-Lugar 
assistance, this type of assistance is provided to Russia (as well as 
Belarus, Kazakstan, and Ukraine) to aid in the dismantlement of weapons 
of mass destruction and prevent the proliferation of such weapons.  To 
date, the U.S. has allocated over $600 million for assistance to Russia 
under this program.  Thirteen implementing agreements have been signed.  
Key projects have included assistance in the elimination of strategic 
offensive arms ($162 million), design and construction of a fissile 
material storage facility ($90 million), provision of fissile material 
containers ($50 million), material control and accounting and physical 
protection of nuclear materials ($45 million), and development of a 
chemical weapons destruction plan and provision of equipment for a pilot 
laboratory for the safe and secure destruction of chemical weapons ($55 
million).  Under the CTR program, the U.S. is also assisting Russia in 
the development of export controls; providing emergency response 
equipment and training to enhance Russia's ability to respond to 
accidents involving nuclear weapons; providing increased military-to-
military contacts; and encouraging the conversion of Russian defense 
firms through the formation of joint ventures to produce products, 
including housing, for the civilian market.  As part of the CTR program, 
the U.S. has awarded $20 million to a joint venture project involving an 
American housing firm and three Russian aerospace firms to construct 
housing for demobilized military officers.  Portions of the Russian 
defense firms will be converted to the production of prefabricated 
housing systems and related products.  In a multilateral effort (the 
European Union and Japan are also involved), the U.S. has also provided 
$35 million to establish the International Science and Technology Center 
(ISTC), which provides alternative peaceful civilian employment 
opportunities to scientists and engineers of the former Soviet Union 
involved with weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. 
Officer Housing Resettlement.  The U.S. has assisted Russia with the 
construction of housing for demobilizing military officers.  In response 
to appeals from the Russian and Baltic Governments, the United States 
announced at the 1993 Vancouver summit the Russian Officer Housing 
Resettlement Program to ease the burden of withdrawing Russian military 
forces from the Baltic nations.  A pilot project for construction of 450 
housing units for demobilizing officers was begun in summer 1993.  At 
the Tokyo summit of G-7 leaders, President Clinton committed the United 
States to finance 5,000 housing units for demobilizing military 
officers.  Congress appropriated $160 million in FY 1994 for this 
project.  Of the 5,000 houses, 2,500 will be new construction and 2,500 
will be provided through vouchers for existing houses.  Distribution of 
vouchers and assignment of housing began in August 1994 and is expected 
to continue through 1996. 
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials 
Ambassador--Thomas R. Pickering 
Deputy Chief of Mission--Richard M. Miles 
Counselor for Political Affairs--William J. Burns 
Counselor for Economic Affairs--Michael Mozur 
Counselor for Commercial Affairs--John Peters 
Counselor for Consular Affairs--Michael Marine 
Counselor for Agricultural Affairs--Mary Revelt 
Counselor for Administrative Affairs--Peter S. Flynn 
Counselor for Public Affairs--Paul R. Smith 
Private Enterprise Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development--
James A. Norris 
Senior Representative, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)--Dennis B. 
Defense Attache--Brig. Gen. John C. Reppert, USAF 
Treasury Attache--William C. Murden 
Regional Security Officer--Robert J. Franks 
Immigration and Naturalization Service--Irena Kipa-Daigle 
The U.S. embassy in Russia is located at Novinskiy Bulvar 19/23, Moscow 
(tel. [7] (095) 252-2451-59; fax: [7] (095) 956-4261). 
Consuls General 
Consulate General, St. Petersburg (Furshtatskaya Ulitsa 15, tel. [7] 
(812) 275-1701)--John Evans 
Consulate General, Vladivostok (Mordovtseva Ulitsa 12, tel. [7] (4232) 
268-458/554)--Desiree Millikan 
Consulate General, Yekaterinburg (tel. [7] (3432) 60-11-43)--Howard 
In Moscow, the U.S. Commercial Office is located at Novinskiy Bulvar 15 
(tel. [7] (095) 255-4848/4660 or 956-4255, fax:  [7] (095) 230-2101).  
In St. Petersburg, the U.S. Commercial Office is located at Bolshaya 
Morskaya Ulitsa 57 (tel. [7] (812) 110-6042, fax: [7] (812) 110-6479).  
For a list of American Business Centers, see box on "U.S. Support for 
Russian Democracy and Development." 
The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides 
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are 
issued when the Department of State recommends that Americans avoid 
travel to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all 
countries and include information on immigration practices, currency 
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and security 
information, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. 
embassies and consulates in the subject country. They can be obtained by 
telephone at (202) 647-5225 or by fax at (202) 647-3000. To access the 
Consular Affairs Bulletin Board by computer, dial (202) 647-9225, via a 
modem with standard settings. Bureau of Consular Affairs' publications 
on obtaining passports and planning a safe trip abroad are available 
from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 
Washington, D.C. 20402 (202) 783-3238. 
Emergency information concerning  Americans traveling abroad may be 
obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-
While planning a trip, travelers can check the latest information on 
health requirements and conditions with the U.S. Centers for Disease 
Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at (404) 332-4559 
provides telephonic or fax information on the most recent health 
advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements, and advice on 
food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. A booklet 
entitled Health Information for International Travel (HHS publication 
number CDC-94-8280, price $7.00) is available from the Superintendent of 
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel. 
(202) 512-1800. 
Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and 
customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to 
travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's 
embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (see "Principal Government 
Officials" listing in this publication). 
Upon their arrival in a country, U.S. citizens are encouraged to 
register with the U.S. embassy (see "Principal U.S. Embassy Officials" 
listing in this publication). Such information might assist family 
members in making contact en route in case of an emergency. 
Further Electronic Information: 
Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB). Available by modem, the CABB 
provides Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings, and helpful 
information for travelers. Access at (202) 647-9225 is free of charge to 
anyone with a personal computer, modem, telecommunications software, and 
telephone line. 
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet, 
DOSFAN provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy 
information. Updated daily, DOSFAN includes Background Notes; Dispatch, 
the official weekly magazine of U.S. foreign policy; daily press 
briefings; directories of key officers of foreign service posts; etc. 
DOSFAN is accessible three ways on the Internet: 
Gopher:  dosfan.lib.uic.edu 
URL:  gopher://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ 
WWW:  http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/dosfan.html 
U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published on a quarterly basis 
by the U.S. Department of State, USFAC archives information on the 
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network, and includes an array of 
official foreign policy information from 1990 to the present. Priced at 
$80 ($100 foreign), one-year subscriptions include four discs (MSDOS and 
Macintosh compatible) and are available from the Superintendent of 
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 37194, Pittsburgh, 
PA 15250-7954. To order, call (202) 512-1800 or fax (202) 512-2250. 
Federal Bulletin Board (BBS). A broad range of foreign policy 
information also is carried on the BBS, operated by the U.S. Government 
Printing Office (GPO). By modem, dial (202) 512-1387. For general BBS 
information, call (202) 512-1530. 
National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of 
Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information, 
including Country Commercial Guides. It is available on the Internet 
(gopher. stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. Call the NTDB Help-Line at (202) 
482-1986 for more information. 
Background Notes Series  --  Published by the United States Department 
of State  --  Bureau of Public Affairs  --  Office of Public 
Communication  --  Washington, DC  --  Series Editor:  Marilyn J. 
Russia  --  Department of State Publication 10305  --  October 1995 
This material is in the public domain and may be reprinted without 
permission; citation of this source is appreciated.  For sale by the 
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 
Washington, DC  20402. 
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