Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin became New Year’s Eve 1999 President, when Boris Yeltsin suddenly resigned. One of Putin’s first steps was to dismiss Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana Djatchenko, who until then was an influential presidential adviser. Other decisions also showed that Putin wanted to distance himself from the legacy of Yeltsin ahead of the upcoming presidential election.
A new and more aggressive Russian security doctrine was presented in January and adopted by the Security Council in the spring. There, the Russian Federation reserved the right to be the first to use nuclear weapons if the nation’s survival is threatened. But the parliament’s lower house, the duma, approved at about the same time both the Start 2 agreement with the United States on reducing the number of nuclear weapons and the international nuclear test stop agreement. Later in the year, Putin was visited by US President Bill Clinton. However, relations with the United States were strained towards the end of the year. because of Moscow’s ambition to resume arms exports to Iran.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Russia. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
In February, Finance Minister Michail Kasianov led successful negotiations with the Russian Federation’s international commercial creditors for loans of $ 32 billion since the Soviet era. The agreement reduced the debt by one third, and R. was able to take new loans from commercial lenders for the first time since the 1998 ruble crash.
A clear majority of Russians supported Putin’s hard line in the war against Chechnya, and Putin appeared before the March presidential election as the powerful man the Russian Federation seemed to need. His patriotic speech on the need for a stronger state power was welcomed in a country where disintegration was threatened by economic crisis, corruption and organized crime. Putin already won the first round with close to 53% of the vote. Second, Communist leader Gennady Ziuganov followed with just over 29%. Nearly 70% of voters cast their votes. Putin’s opponents were discriminated against by the media in the election campaign, and after the election, reports of electoral fraud came to Putin’s favor, though not to a decisive extent.
When Putin formed a new government after the election, he appointed Michail Kasianov as prime minister. It was regarded by judges as a concession to the power sphere surrounding Boris Yeltsin, the man who hand-picked Putin as his successor. Against Kasianov stood the new Minister of Economic Development, German Gref, and the new Minister of Finance, Aleksey Kudrin, who has proposed comprehensive reforms of the economy, including. sharply reduced taxes, abolished government subsidies and restructuring of state monopoly companies.
Putin passed a new tax law with 13 percent unit tax, which proved to be a successful attack on the widespread tax fraud. Putin’s plans for strengthened central power were implemented through a decree in May, which divided the Russian Federation into seven new major regions, all of which would be led by a representative of the president.
The security service FSB’s role was strengthened during the year, and among people in general, increased caution was noted when it came to criticizing the regime. Among the media, fears were expressed that the new regime under Putin was trying to silence critical voices. At the beginning of the year, the Russian military seized the investigative journalist Andrei Babitsky in Chechnya. During the summer, the authorities, through various actions, drove powerful media magnates on the defensive. This was the case with Vladimir Gusinsky, with the regime-critical TV channel NTV, and financier Boris Berezovsky, who controlled the TV channel ORT. Prosecutors and tax police searched a number of large Russian groups for evidence of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. But the so-called oligarchs, who have made themselves rich in the privatization of business,
In early August, as many as 73% of Russians said they had confidence in the new president. But the mood was changed in a few days by the news that the submarine Kursk had sunk into the Barents Sea with 118 men on board. The Navy gave contradictory information about the condition of the crew and submarines, and despite Russian rescue attempts failed, the authorities rejected foreign offers of assistance. It was not until the fourth day after the accident that a modern British rescue vehicle, together with Norwegian and British deep-sea divers, got ready to go to the accident site. After a few days on the spot, the divers were able to open the submarine and find that no one on board had survived. Devastating criticism was directed at the military’s handling of the disaster and against President Putin, who left his resort on the Black Sea only six days after the accident.
Marine officers claimed that Kursk had collided with a foreign submarine, but other evidence indicated that an explosion had occurred inside the vehicle. During the fall, Norwegian divers managed to salvage twelve bodies from the submarine.
The days before the Kursk accident, 7 people were killed and 53 were injured in a bomb attack in central Moscow. The police blamed Chetens for the act. Shortly after the Kursk tragedy, a severe fire broke out in Moscow’s 537 m high TV tower, and broadcasts to the capital were broken. These three events shook the Russian public and focused on the post-Soviet society’s lack of financial resources and thus on security.
But at the same time, it was found that Putin’s strengthened social control was accompanied by a strengthened ruble rate and clear improvements in the Russian economy, which suffered severely in the suites of the ruble’s collapse in 1998. Industrial production and GDP rose sharply during the year. High commodity prices, especially the oil price, boosted export value. The trade balance was in surplus, the foreign exchange reserve was growing and, despite increases in pensions and wages, inflation was kept under control. All this resulted in the Parliament’s budget debate becoming unusually calm, and the lower house, the duma, adopted in October the first balanced budget of the Russian Federation with a clear majority. The Communist Party did vote against the budget, but the party was weakened by internal divisions and no significant opposition to Putin’s policy really existed.
However, despite the good development of the state’s finances, many poor Russians suffered a lack of the essentials. When the winter cold set in at the end of the year, thousands of people in the Vladivostok area lacked fuel in their houses. The deliveries had been suspended since the authorities could not agree on who would pay the bills.
At the end of the year, the Russian Security Council decided that military forces should be reduced by 600,000 men in five years. That means a one-fifth cut.
Russia has supported the Syrian government and President Bashar al-Assad during the civil war in Syria, from 2011. The support has been partly political, including opposition to international measures in the UN Security Council; partly financially and militarily. Syria was the Soviet Union’s last ally in the Middle East, and Russia chose to continue its connection, among other things, to maintain its only naval base on the Mediterranean, the Tartus base. This was used when Russia entered the war militarily in the fall of 2015, officially to fight the Islamic State (IS) and other jihadists. A Russian air station was also established in Syria. Russia’s policy in Syria has aimed to establish an order in which Russia together with the United States,Iran and Turkey play a leading role in the Middle East.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has sold gas at far below world market prices to the former Soviet republics. In 2005, Russia began to demand payment that was closer to the world market price. Ukraine, for example, would go from paying US $ 160 per 1,000 cubic meters to US $ 230, while the world market price was $ 250. In return, Ukraine would be better paid than before to allow the Russian pipelines to EU countries to cross their own territory.
The price increases led to a crisis in Russia-Ukraine relations. The Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute was followed with vigilance in the EU as 80 percent of Russia’s gas exports there went over Ukrainian territory. An agreement was reached between the parties with the help of Secretary General of the EU Council Javier Solana. The dispute over prices and supplies flared up again in 2008, but the two countries’ then prime ministers, Vladimir Putin and Julija Tymoshenko, reached an agreement. The following year, President Dimitrij Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych j agreed on a 30 percent reduction in gas prices against Ukraine extending the agreement on the Russian naval base on the Crimean Peninsula.
The Nord Stream gas pipeline was completed in 2011. This pipeline runs directly between Russia and Germany at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, and has made gas deliveries less vulnerable to political discrepancies between Russia and traditional transit countries.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Russia in 2000 was 146,404,792, ranking number 6 in the world. The population growth rate was -0.250% yearly, and the population density was 8.9397 people per km2.