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About Vladimir Putin

Russian PresidentVladimir PutinVladimir Putin was born in Leningrad on October 7, 1952.

In 1975, he graduated with a degree in law from Leningrad State University. He later completed a doctoral thesis in economics.

After graduation, Mr. Putin was assigned to work in the KGB. From 1985 to 1990, he worked in East Germany.

In 1990, he became assistant to the rector of Leningrad State University and was responsible for international affairs. He then became an advisor to the chairman of the Leningrad City Council. In June 1991, he became chairman of the St. Petersburg City Council's International Relations Committee and, beginning in 1994, he combined this post with the position of First Deputy Chairman of the St. Petersburg City Government (First Deputy Mayor).

In August 1996, he was named deputy head of the President's Property Management Directorate. In March 1997, he became deputy head of the Presidential Administration and head of the Central Supervision and Inspections Directorate. In May 1998, he was named first deputy head of the Presidential Administration. In July 1998, he was appointed director of the Federal Security Service and, as of March 1999, he combined this post with that of Secretary of the Security Council.

In August 1999, Mr. Putin was named Prime Minister.

On December 31, 1999, he became acting President.

On March 26, 2000, he was elected President of Russia and inaugurated on May 7, 2000.

Mr. Putin was reelected for his second term on March 14, 2004 and inaugurated on May 7, 2004.

Russia MapRussia

The Russian Federation is the newest member of the Group of Eight. The Russian Federation began attending the political sessions of the Summit in 1994 at Naples and in all sessions at the Birmingham Summit in 1998. The Russian Federation will host their first G8 Summit in 2006.

The President of the Russian Federation is His Excellency Vladimir Putin. President Putin was first elected President of the Russian Federation in 2000 and re-elected in 2004.

Official Name: The Russian Federation Russia Flag

Area: 17 million sq. km. (6.5 million sq. mi.); about 1.8 times the size of the United States.
Cities: Capital--Moscow (pop. 8.3 million). Other cities--St. Petersburg (4.6 million), Novosibirsk (1.4 million), Nizhniy Novgorod (1.3 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 (2002 est.): 145 million.
Annual growth rate (2001 est.): -0.35%.
Ethnic groups: Russian 81%, Tatar 4%, Ukrainian 3%, other 12%.
Religion: Russian Orthodox, Islam, Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Protestant, Buddhist, other.
Language: Russian (official); more than 140 other languages and dialects.
Education (total pop.): Literacy--98%.
Health: Life expectancy (2001 est.)--62 yrs. men, 73 yrs. women.
Work force (85 million): Production and economic services--84%; government--16%.

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: Shifting. The 1999 elections were contested by Conservative Movement of Russia, Russian All-Peoples Union, Women of Russia, Stalin Bloc-For the U.S.S.R., Yabloko, Working Russia, Peace-Labor-May, Bloc of Nikolayev and Federov, Spiritual Heritage, Congress of Russian Communities, Peace and Unity Party, Party for the Protection of Women, Unity Interregional Movement, Social Democrats, Movement in Support of the Army, Zhirinovskiy's Bloc, For Civic Dignity, Fatherland-All Russia, Communist Party, Russian Cause, All-Russian Political Party of the People, Union of Right Forces, Our Home is Russia, Socialist Party of Russia, Party of Pensioners and the Russian Socialist Party.
Subdivisions: 21 autonomous republics and 68 autonomous territories and regions.
Suffrage: Universal at 18 years.

Economy (2002 est.)
GDP: $287.7 billion (purchasing power parity estimated at $1.27 trillion in 2002).
Growth rate (2002): 4.3%.
Per capita GDP: $2,320 (purchasing power parity estimated at $8,800 in 2002).
Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, timber, furs, precious and nonferrous metals.
Agriculture: Products--Grain, sugarbeets, sunflower seeds, meat, dairy products.
Industry: Types--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 (2002): Exports (f.o.b.)--$107.2 2 billion: petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, woods and wood products, metals, chemicals. Major markets--EU, NIS, China, Japan. Imports (f.o.b.)--$60.96 billion: machinery and equipment, chemicals, consumer goods, medicines, meat, sugar, semi-finished metal products. Major partners--EU, U.S., NIS, Japan, China. U.S. exports (f.a.s)--$2.40 billion. Principal U.S. exports (2002)--oil/gas equipment, poultry, inorganic chemicals, tobacco, aircraft, medical equipment, autos/parts. U.S. imports (customs value)--$6.82 billion. Principal U.S. imports (2002)--oil, aluminum, chemicals, platinum, iron/steel, fish and crustaceans, knit apparel, nickel, nickel, wood, and copper.
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