Russian Federation Country Profile
Prepared by: The Boise High School Delegation for Idaho Model U.N. – 2023
The Russian Federation is a loose semi-presidential federation. This means that they have both a president and prime minister, although currently the position of president has consolidated all of the power for himself. The executive power of Russia has been known as the Kremlin. Vladimir Putin, the current president of Russia, and leader of the Kremlin, has been in power since 2000 when he was elected president, and has held that position, apart from a 4 year term as prime minister, ever since. Putin is a strong leader who is focused on Russia being a leader in regional and global politics. Believing that Russia is a superior power, he acts based on the national interests of Russia, and against the predation of the West. Being such a large country, Russia is an asymmetric federal system, they have different regions that have different levels of power decided by the central government, although Putin has consolidated power recently to protect the national interests of Russia prominent. With 80 regional bodies including; 21 republics, 46 provinces, 4 autonomous districts, and 2 federal cities, Moscow (the capital) and St. Petersburg. These may be split by ethnic, or regional differences, based on negotiated agreements between internal governments. Russia’s legislative branch is little more than a rubber stamp and an attempted point of legitimacy for the powerful Kremlin. Known as the Federal Assembly, it consists of a Duma, the lower house comprised of 450 members, and the 170 seat Federation Council. Each region of the country receives representation in the Federation Council regardless of their size. The president, not the legislature, appoints the prime minister. The president is elected directly by the people, and while there are many parties, United Russia which is less ideologically based, and more based around support for Vladimir Putin. Vladimir Putin is the main driver of all policy in the country.
Russia’s economy has transitioned from a planned economy toward a mixed-market economy. The economy is regulated by price signals, affected by supply and demand. Within this economic system, the government has the ability to influence change in the market. Being the fourth largest economy in Europe, Russia’s economy is stimulated by the mass amounts of natural resources the country produces. The country holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves, second largest coal reserves, earth largest oil reserves, and the largest oil shale in Europe. Oil and natural gas are the main economic products of Russia. With it producing 40% of the federal budget and being 60% of the country’s exports. China has become Russia’s largest trading partner. However, since the conflict with Ukraine, and sanctions placed on Russia, the exportation of oil and natural gas has declined. The sanctions are in an effort to reduce Russia’s spending power toward continuing the war.
Russia prioritizes promoting and representing Russian national interests, defending key principles of sovereignty, and respect for Russia as a great power. These priorities guide national security and diplomacy efforts with other nations. On January 10, Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new national security concept, which outlines Russia’s national interests during the current “dynamic transformation of the system of international relations.” The new concept includes updated language about nuclear weapons and the threshold that must be met for their use to be deemed necessary. While the previous concept reserved the right to use nuclear weapons first “in case of a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation,”; the new concept allows such use “to repulse armed aggression, if all other means of resolving the crisis have been exhausted.” Russia is currently involved in a conflict with Ukraine. Russia views Ukraine as a national security issue, and for years has aimed to address concerns along the border. Most recently, in October of 2021, after months of monitoring, gathering military personnel, and force build-up, Ukraine was invaded.
Role in the United Nations
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was an original Member of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. Despite efforts to remove Russia from the U.N. Security Council, Russia is one of five permanent members, which gives it the power to veto any security resolution. Russia has always used veto power aggressively when issues which do not align with Russian foreign relations and or goals. Political motivations are the primary motivators for Russia’s desire to remain in the Security Council. Russia is dedicated to continued constructive
interaction with all partners and maintaining in the Committee the inherent spirit of resolutions which have obtained Russian support.
Russia remains committed to ensuring national security, and will continue to participate in international peacekeeping activities by sending UN observers to the UN missions. Russia also prides itself on its commitment to the achievement of goals outlined Sustainable Development Goals defined by the international community as outlined in the 2030 agenda. The Russian Federation is a multinational social State with its
policy centered around people, their rights and freedoms, welfare and quality of life.
Current Role in Climate Change Mitigation
Russia’s current actions toward climate mitigation remain very low. The government has introduced some policies yet they have little expected effect on reducing emissions. In September 2022, the government announced details regarding their goal of net zero emissions by 2060. The plan assumes that forests will take up twice as much carbon by 2050. Due to this, the government only has to reduce emissions by half, not zero. They did not suggest methods for uptaking the carbon emissions. Nor did it suggest action toward the increase in wildland fires in the Siberian area in recent years. In 2021, the government passed a law aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions but all measures that would have substantially reduced emissions were removed before it was passed. It’s called The Energy Strategy to 2035 and is focused on promoting fossil fuel extraction, consumption, and exports across the world. The law poses a significant economic threat to the Paris
Agreement’s 1.5 C temperature limit. All of these recent actions by the Russian government suggest that they have little interest in reducing emissions and more interest in continuing their exports of fossil fuels.