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Russia vs. Belarus

Introduction

RussiaBelarus
Background

Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new ROMANOV Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 contributed to the Revolution of 1905, which resulted in the formation of a parliament and other reforms. Devastating defeats and food shortages in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the ROMANOV Dynasty. The communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened communist rule and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. After defeating Germany in World War II as part of an alliance with the US (1939-1945), the USSR expanded its territory and influence in Eastern Europe and emerged as a global power. The USSR was the principal adversary of the US during the Cold War (1947-1991). The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the decades following Stalin's rule, 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 led to the dissolution of the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent states.

Following economic and political turmoil during President Boris YELTSIN's term (1991-99), Russia shifted toward a centralized authoritarian state under President Vladimir PUTIN (2000-2008, 2012-present) in which the regime seeks to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country's geopolitical influence, and commodity-based economic growth. Russia faces a largely subdued rebel movement in Chechnya and some other surrounding regions, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.

After seven decades as a constituent republic of the USSR, Belarus attained its independence in 1991. It has retained closer political and economic ties to Russia than have any of the other former Soviet republics. Belarus and Russia signed a treaty on a two-state union on 8 December 1999 envisioning greater political and economic integration. Although Belarus agreed to a framework to carry out the accord, serious implementation has yet to take place and current negotiations on further integration have been contentious. Since his election in July 1994 as the country's first and only directly elected president, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means and a centralized economic system. Government restrictions on political and civil freedoms, freedom of speech and the press, peaceful assembly, and religion have remained in place.

Geography

RussiaBelarus
LocationNorth Asia bordering the Arctic Ocean, extending from Europe (the portion west of the Urals) to the North Pacific OceanEastern Europe, east of Poland
Geographic coordinates60 00 N, 100 00 E53 00 N, 28 00 E
Map referencesAsiaEurope
Areatotal: 17,098,242 sq km

land: 16,377,742 sq km

water: 720,500 sq km
total: 207,600 sq km

land: 202,900 sq km

water: 4,700 sq km
Area - comparativeapproximately 1.8 times the size of the USslightly less than twice the size of Kentucky; slightly smaller than Kansas
Land boundariestotal: 22,407 km

border countries (14): Azerbaijan 338 km, Belarus 1312 km, China (southeast) 4133 km and China (south) 46 km, Estonia 324 km, Finland 1309 km, Georgia 894 km, Kazakhstan 7644 km, North Korea 18 km, Latvia 332 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 261 km, Mongolia 3452 km, Norway 191 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 209 km, Ukraine 1944 km
total: 3,599 km

border countries (5): Latvia 161 km, Lithuania 640 km, Poland 375 km, Russia 1312 km, Ukraine 1111 km
Coastline37,653 km0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
none (landlocked)
Climateranges 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 coastcold winters, cool and moist summers; transitional between continental and maritime
Terrainbroad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regionsgenerally flat with much marshland
Elevation extremeshighest point: Gora El'brus (highest point in Europe) 5,642 m

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m

mean elevation: 600 m
highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m

lowest point: Nyoman River 90 m

mean elevation: 160 m
Natural resourceswide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, bauxite, reserves of rare earth elements, timber, note, formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resourcestimber, peat deposits, small quantities of oil and natural gas, granite, dolomitic limestone, marl, chalk, sand, gravel, clay
Land useagricultural land: 13.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 7.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 5.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 49.4% (2018 est.)

other: 37.5% (2018 est.)
agricultural land: 43.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 27.2% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 15.9% (2018 est.)

forest: 42.7% (2018 est.)

other: 13.6% (2018 est.)
Irrigated land43,000 sq km (2012)1,140 sq km (2012)
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

volcanism: significant volcanic activity on the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands; the peninsula alone is home to some 29 historically active volcanoes, with dozens more in the Kuril Islands; Kliuchevskoi (4,835 m), which erupted in 2007 and 2010, is Kamchatka's most active volcano; Avachinsky and Koryaksky volcanoes, which pose a threat to the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Bezymianny, Chikurachki, Ebeko, Gorely, Grozny, Karymsky, Ketoi, Kronotsky, Ksudach, Medvezhia, Mutnovsky, Sarychev Peak, Shiveluch, Tiatia, Tolbachik, and Zheltovsky; see note 2 under "Geography - note"

large tracts of marshy land
Environment - current issuesair 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; nuclear waste disposal; scattered areas of sometimes intense radioactive contamination; groundwater contamination from toxic waste; urban solid waste management; abandoned stocks of obsolete pesticidessoil pollution from pesticide use; southern part of the country contaminated with fallout from 1986 nuclear reactor accident at Chornobyl' in northern Ukraine
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic- Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note

note 1: 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

note 2: Russia's far east, particularly the Kamchatka Peninsula, lies along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean; up to 90% of the world's earthquakes and some 75% of the world's volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire

note 3: Mount El'brus is Europe's tallest peak; Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world, is estimated to hold one fifth of the world's fresh surface water

note 4: Kaliningrad oblast is an exclave annexed from Germany following World War II (it was formerly part of East Prussia); its capital city of Kaliningrad - formerly Koenigsberg - is the only Baltic port in Russia that remains ice free in the winter

landlocked; glacial scouring accounts for the flatness of Belarusian terrain and for its 11,000 lakes
Total renewable water resources4,525,445,000,000 cubic meters (2017 est.)57.9 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)
Population distributionpopulation is heavily concentrated in the westernmost fifth of the country extending from the Baltic Sea, south to the Caspian Sea, and eastward parallel to the Kazakh border; elsewhere, sizeable pockets are isolated and generally found in the southa fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations

Demographics

RussiaBelarus
Population142,320,790 (July 2021 est.)9,441,842 (July 2021 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 17.24% (male 12,551,611/female 11,881,297)

15-24 years: 9.54% (male 6,920,070/female 6,602,776)

25-54 years: 43.38% (male 30,240,260/female 31,245,104)

55-64 years: 14.31% (male 8,808,330/female 11,467,697)

65 years and over: 15.53% (male 7,033,381/female 14,971,679) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 16.09% (male 784,231/female 740,373)

15-24 years: 9.59% (male 467,393/female 441,795)

25-54 years: 43.94% (male 2,058,648/female 2,105,910)

55-64 years: 14.45% (male 605,330/female 763,972)

65 years and over: 15.93% (male 493,055/female 1,017,211) (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 40.3 years

male: 37.5 years

female: 43.2 years (2020 est.)
total: 40.9 years

male: 38 years

female: 43.9 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate-0.2% (2021 est.)-0.29% (2021 est.)
Birth rate9.71 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)9.32 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate13.4 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)12.96 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate1.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)0.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.77 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.47 male(s)/female

total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.79 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.48 male(s)/female

total population: 0.87 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 6.51 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 7.38 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
total: 3.31 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.76 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 2.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 72.16 years

male: 66.61 years

female: 78.05 years (2021 est.)
total population: 74.01 years

male: 68.6 years

female: 79.74 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate1.6 children born/woman (2021 est.)1.51 children born/woman (2021 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.2% (2017 est.)0.5% (2020 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Russian(s)

adjective: Russian
noun: Belarusian(s)

adjective: Belarusian
Ethnic groupsRussian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9% (2010 est.)

note: nearly 200 national and/or ethnic groups are represented in Russia's 2010 census
Belarusian 83.7%, Russian 8.3%, Polish 3.1%, Ukrainian 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 0.9% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS1 million (2017 est.)28,000 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children
ReligionsRussian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.)

note: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of official atheism under Soviet rule; Russia officially recognizes Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as the country's traditional religions
Orthodox 48.3%, Catholic 7.1%, other 3.5%, non-believers 41.1% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA<200 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children
LanguagesRussian (official) 85.7%, Tatar 3.2%, Chechen 1%, other 10.1%; note - data represent native language spoken (2010 est.)

major-language sample(s):
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The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
Russian (official) 70.2%, Belarusian (official) 23.4%, other 3.1% (includes small Polish- and Ukrainian-speaking minorities), unspecified 3.3% (2009 est.)

major-language sample(s):
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The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.7%

male: 99.7%

female: 99.7% (2018)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.8%

male: 99.8%

female: 99.7% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 16 years (2018)
total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 16 years (2018)
Education expenditures4.7% of GDP (2017)4.8% of GDP (2017)
Urbanizationurban population: 74.9% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.11% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
urban population: 79.9% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.28% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 98.6% of population

rural: 94.2% of population

total: 97.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.4% of population

rural: 5.8% of population

total: 2.9% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 98.3% of population

total: 99.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 1.7% of population

total: 0.2% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 94.8% of population

rural: 78.1% of population

total: 90.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 5.2% of population

rural: 21.9% of population

total: 9.5% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 99.8% of population

rural: 97.9% of population

total: 99.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.2% of population

rural: 2.1% of population

total: 0.6% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population12.593 million MOSCOW (capital), 5.504 million Saint Petersburg, 1.676 million Novosibirsk, 1.513 million Yekaterinburg, 1.280 million Kazan, 1.255 million Nizhniy Novgorod (2021)2.039 million MINSK (capital) (2021)
Maternal mortality rate17 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)2 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Health expenditures5.3% (2018)5.6% (2018)
Physicians density3.75 physicians/1,000 population (2015)5.19 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
Hospital bed density8.1 beds/1,000 population (2017)10.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate23.1% (2016)24.5% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth25.2 years (2013 est.)26.8 years (2019 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate68% (2011)

note: percent of women aged 15-44
71.2% (2017)

note:  percent of women aged 18-49
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 51.2

youth dependency ratio: 27.8

elderly dependency ratio: 23.5

potential support ratio: 4.3 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 48.9

youth dependency ratio: 25.7

elderly dependency ratio: 23.2

potential support ratio: 4.3 (2020 est.)

Government

RussiaBelarus
Country nameconventional long form: Russian Federation

conventional short form: Russia

local long form: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya

local short form: Rossiya

former: Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

etymology: Russian lands were generally referred to as Muscovy until PETER I officially declared the Russian Empire in 1721; the new name sought to invoke the patrimony of the medieval eastern European Rus state centered on Kyiv in present-day Ukraine; the Rus were a Varangian (eastern Viking) elite that imposed their rule and eventually their name on their Slavic subjects
conventional long form: Republic of Belarus

conventional short form: Belarus

local long form: Respublika Byelarus'/Respublika Belarus'

local short form: Byelarus'/Belarus'

former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic

etymology: the name is a compound of the Belarusian words "bel" (white) and "Rus" (the Old East Slavic ethnic designation) to form the meaning White Rusian or White Ruthenian
Government typesemi-presidential federationpresidential republic in name, although in fact a dictatorship
Capitalname: Moscow

geographic coordinates: 55 45 N, 37 36 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: does not observe daylight savings time

note: Russia has 11 time zones, the largest number of contiguous time zones of any country in the world; in 2014, two time zones were added and DST dropped

etymology: named after the Moskva River; the origin of the river's name is obscure but may derive from the appellation "Mustajoki" given to the river by the Finno-Ugric people who originally inhabited the area and whose meaning may have been "dark" or "turbid"
name: Minsk

geographic coordinates: 53 54 N, 27 34 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the origin of the name is disputed; Minsk may originally have been located 16 km to the southwest, on the banks of Menka River; remnants of a 10th-century settlement on the banks of the Menka have been found 
Administrative divisions

46 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast), 21 republics (respubliki, singular - respublika), 4 autonomous okrugs (avtonomnyye okrugi, singular - avtonomnyy okrug), 9 krays (kraya, singular - kray), 2 federal cities (goroda, singular - gorod), and 1 autonomous oblast (avtonomnaya oblast')

oblasts: Amur (Blagoveshchensk), Arkhangel'sk, Astrakhan', Belgorod, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Kirov, Kostroma, Kurgan, Kursk, Leningrad, Lipetsk, Magadan, Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Orel, Penza, Pskov, Rostov, Ryazan', Sakhalin (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Samara, Saratov, Smolensk, Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), Tambov, Tomsk, Tula, Tver', Tyumen', Ul'yanovsk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Vologda, Voronezh, Yaroslavl'

republics: Adygeya (Maykop), Altay (Gorno-Altaysk), Bashkortostan (Ufa), Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude), Chechnya (Groznyy), Chuvashiya (Cheboksary), Dagestan (Makhachkala), Ingushetiya (Magas), Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal'chik), Kalmykiya (Elista), Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk), Kareliya (Petrozavodsk), Khakasiya (Abakan), Komi (Syktyvkar), Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola), Mordoviya (Saransk), North Ossetia (Vladikavkaz), Sakha [Yakutiya] (Yakutsk), Tatarstan (Kazan'), Tyva (Kyzyl), Udmurtiya (Izhevsk)

autonomous okrugs: Chukotka (Anadyr'), Khanty-Mansi-Yugra (Khanty-Mansiysk), Nenets (Nar'yan-Mar), Yamalo-Nenets (Salekhard)

krays: Altay (Barnaul), Kamchatka (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy), Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Perm', Primorskiy [Maritime] (Vladivostok), Stavropol', Zabaykal'sk [Transbaikal] (Chita)

federal cities: Moscow [Moskva], Saint Petersburg [Sankt-Peterburg]

autonomous oblast: Yevreyskaya [Jewish] (Birobidzhan)

note 1: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

note 2: the United States does not recognize Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the municipality of Sevastopol, nor their redesignation as the "Republic of Crimea" and the "Federal City of Sevastopol"

6 provinces (voblastsi, singular - voblasts') and 1 municipality* (horad); Brest, Homyel' (Gomel'), Horad Minsk* (Minsk City), Hrodna (Grodno), Mahilyow (Mogilev), Minsk, Vitsyebsk (Vitebsk)

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers; Russian spelling provided for reference when different from Belarusian
Independence25 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union; Russian SFSR renamed Russian Federation); notable earlier dates: 1157 (Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal created); 16 January 1547 (Tsardom of Muscovy established); 22 October 1721 (Russian Empire proclaimed); 30 December 1922 (Soviet Union established)25 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holidayRussia Day, 12 June (1990); note - commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR)Independence Day, 3 July (1944); note - 3 July 1944 was the date Minsk was liberated from German troops, 25 August 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union
Constitutionhistory: several previous (during Russian Empire and Soviet era); latest drafted 12 July 1993, adopted by referendum 12 December 1993, effective 25 December 1993

amendments: proposed by the president of the Russian Federation, by either house of the Federal Assembly, by the government of the Russian Federation, or by legislative (representative) bodies of the Federation's constituent entities; proposals to amend the government’s constitutional system, human and civil rights and freedoms, and procedures for amending or drafting a new constitution require formation of a Constitutional Assembly; passage of such amendments requires two-thirds majority vote of its total membership; passage in a referendum requires participation of an absolute majority of eligible voters and an absolute majority of valid votes; approval of proposed amendments to the government structure, authorities, and procedures requires approval by the legislative bodies of at least two thirds of the Russian Federation's constituent entities; amended several times, last in 2020
history: several previous; latest drafted between late 1991 and early 1994, signed 15 March 1994

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic through petition to the National Assembly or by petition of least 150,000 eligible voters; approval required by at least two-thirds majority vote in both chambers or by simple majority of votes cast in a referendum; amended 1996, 2004
Legal systemcivil law system; judicial review of legislative actscivil law system; note - nearly all major codes (civil, civil procedure, criminal, criminal procedure, family, and labor) were revised and came into force in 1999 and 2000
Suffrage18 years of age; universal18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (since 7 May 2012)

head of government: Premier Mikhail MISHUSTIN (since 16 January 2020); First Deputy Premier Andrey Removich BELOUSOV (since 21 January 2020); Deputy Premiers Yuriy TRUTNEV (since 31 August 2013), Yuriy Ivanovich BORISOV, Tatiana Alekseyevna GOLIKOVA (since 18 May 2018), Dmitriy Yuriyevich GRIGORENKO, Viktoriya Valeriyevna ABRAMCHENKO, Aleksey Logvinovich OVERCHUK, Marat Shakirzyanovich KHUSNULLIN, Dmitriy Nikolayevich CHERNYSHENKO (since 21 January 2020), Aleksandr NOVAK (since 10 November 2020)

cabinet: the "Government" is composed of the premier, his deputies, and ministers, all appointed by the president; the premier is also confirmed by the Duma

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term (2020 constitutional amendments allow a second consecutive term); election last held on 18 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2024); note - for the 2024 presidential election, previous presidential terms are discounted; there is no vice president; premier appointed by the president with the approval of the Duma

election results: Vladimir PUTIN reelected president; percent of vote - Vladimir PUTIN (independent) 77.5%, Pavel GRUDININ (CPRF) 11.9%, Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKIY (LDPR) 5.7%, other 5.8%; Mikhail MISHUSTIN (independent) approved as premier by Duma; vote - 383 to 0

note: there is also a Presidential Administration 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
chief of state: President Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (since 20 July 1994)

head of government: Prime Minister Roman GOLOVCHENKO (since 4 June 2020); First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai SNOPKOV (since 4 June 2020); Deputy Prime Ministers Vladimir KUKHAREV, Igor PETRISHENKO (since 18 August 2018), Yury NAZAROV (since 3 March 2020), Aleksander Subbotin (since 4 June 2020)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (no term limits); first election took place on 23 June and 10 July 1994; according to the 1994 constitution, the next election should have been held in 1999; however, Aleksandr LUKASHENKO extended his term to 2001 via a November 1996 referendum; subsequent election held on 9 September 2001; an October 2004 referendum ended presidential term limits and allowed the president to run and win in a third (19 March 2006), fourth (19 December 2010), fifth (11 October 2015), and sixth (9 August 2020); next election in 2025; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and approved by the National Assembly

election results: Aleksandr LUKASHENKO reelected president; percent of vote - Aleksandr LUKASHENKO (independent) 80.2%, Sviatana TSIKHANOUSKAYA (independent) 9.9%, other 9.9%; note - widespread street protests erupted following announcement of the election results amid allegations of voter fraud
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Federal Assembly or Federalnoye Sobraniye consists of:
Federation Council or Sovet Federatsii (170 seats; 2 members in each of the 83 federal administrative units (see note below) - oblasts, krays, republics, autonomous okrugs and oblasts, and federal cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg - appointed by the top executive and legislative officials; members serve 4-year terms)
State Duma or Gosudarstvennaya Duma (450 seats (see note below); as of February 2014, the electoral system reverted to a mixed electoral system for the 2016 election, in which one-half of the members are directly elected by simple majority vote and one-half directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections:
State Duma - last held on 18 September 2016 (next to be held in fall 2021)

election results:
Federation Council (members appointed); composition - men 145, women 25, percent of women 14.7%

State Duma - United Russia 54.2%, CPRF 13.3%, LDPR 13.1%, A Just Russia 6.2%, Rodina 1.5%, CP 0.2%, other minor parties 11.5%; seats by party - United Russia 343, CPRF 42, LDPR 39, A Just Russia 23, Rodina 1, CP 1, independent 1

note 1: the State Duma now includes 3 representatives from the "Republic of Crimea," while the Federation Council includes 2 each from the "Republic of Crimea" and the "Federal City of Sevastopol," both regions that Russia occupied and attempted to annex from Ukraine and that the US does not recognize as part of Russia

note 2: seats by party as of December 2018 - United Russia 341, CPRF 43, LDPR 39, A Just Russia 23, independent 2, vacant 2; composition as of October 2018 - men 393, women 57, percent of women 12.7%; note - total Federal Assembly percent of women 13.2%
description: bicameral National Assembly or Natsionalnoye Sobraniye consists of:
Council of the Republic or Sovet Respubliki (64 seats; 56 members indirectly elected by regional and Minsk city councils and 8 members appointed by the president; members serve 4-year terms)
House of Representatives or Palata Predstaviteley (110 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed; members serve 4-year terms)

elections:
Council of the Republic - indirect election last held on 7 November 2019
House of Representatives - last held on 17 November 2019 (next to be held in 2023); OSCE observers determined that the election was neither free nor impartial and that vote counting was problematic in a number of polling stations; pro-LUKASHENKO candidates won every seat; international observers determined that the previous elections, on 28 September 2008, 23 September 2012, and 11 September 2016 also fell short of democratic standards, with pro-LUKASHENKO candidates winning every, or virtually every, seat

election results:
Council of the Republic - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - NA
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - KPB 11, Republican Party of Labor and Justice 6, Belarusian Patriotic Party 2, LDP 1, AP 1, independent 89; composition - men 66, women 44, percent of women 40%; note - total National Assembly percent of women - NA

note: the US does not recognize the legitimacy of the National Assembly
Judicial branchhighest courts: Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (consists of 170 members organized into the Judicial Panel for Civil Affairs, the Judicial Panel for Criminal Affairs, and the Military Panel); Constitutional Court (consists of 11 members, including the chairperson and deputy); note - in February 2014, Russia’s Higher Court of Arbitration was abolished and its former authorities transferred to the Supreme Court, which in addition is the country’s highest judicial authority for appeals, civil, criminal, administrative, and military cases, and the disciplinary judicial board, which has jurisdiction over economic disputes

judge selection and term of office: all members of Russia's 3 highest courts nominated by the president and appointed by the Federation Council (the upper house of the legislature); members of all 3 courts appointed for life

subordinate courts: regional (kray) and provincial (oblast) courts; Moscow and St. Petersburg city courts; autonomous province and district courts; note - the 21 Russian Republics have court systems specified by their own constitutions
highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chairman and deputy chairman and organized into several specialized panels, including economic and military; number of judges set by the president of the republic and the court chairman); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 judges, including a chairman and deputy chairman)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president with the consent of the Council of the Republic; judges initially appointed for 5 years and evaluated for life appointment; Constitutional Court judges - 6 appointed by the president and 6 elected by the Council of the Republic; the presiding judge directly elected by the president and approved by the Council of the Republic; judges can serve for 11 years with an age limit of 70

subordinate courts: oblast courts; Minsk City Court; town courts; Minsk city and oblast economic courts
Political parties and leadersA Just Russia [Sergey MIRONOV]
Civic Platform or CP [Rifat SHAYKHUTDINOV]
Communist Party of the Russian Federation or CPRF [Gennadiy ZYUGANOV]
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR [Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKIY]
Rodina [Aleksei ZHURAVLYOV]
United Russia [Dmitriy MEDVEDEV]

note: 64 political parties are registered with Russia's Ministry of Justice (as of September 2018), but only four parties maintain representation in Russia's national legislature
pro-government parties:
Belarusian Agrarian Party or AP [Mikhail SHIMANSKY]
Belarusian Patriotic Party [Nikolai ULAKHOVICH]
Belarusian Social Sport Party [Vladimir ALEKSANDROVICH]
Communist Party of Belarus or KPB [Aleksei SOKOL]
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Sergey GAYDUKEVICH]
Republican Party [Vladimir BELOZOR]
Republican Party of Labor and Justice [Vasiliy ZADNEPRYANIY]
Social Democratic Party of Popular Accord [Sergei YERMAK]
opposition parties:
Belarusian Christian Democracy Party [Paval SEVIARYNETS, Volha KAVALKOVA, Vital RYMASHEWSKI] (unregistered)
Belarusian Party of the Green [Anastasiya DOROFEYEVA]
Belarusian Party of the Left "Just World" [Sergey KALYAKIN]
Belarusian Popular Front or BPF [Ryhor KASTUSEU]
Belarusian Social-Democratic Assembly [Sergei CHERECHEN]
Belarusian Social Democratic Party ("Assembly") or BSDPH [Ihar BARYSAU]
Belarusian Social Democratic Party (People's Assembly) [Mikalay STATKEVICH] (unregistered)
Christian Conservative Party or BPF [Zyanon PAZNYAK]
United Civic Party or UCP [Nikolay KOZLOV]
International organization participationAPEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, BSEC, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN (observer), CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAEU, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UN Security Council (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZCBSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CEI, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, NSG, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer), ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Anatoliy Ivanovich ANTONOV (since 8 September 2017)

chancery: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 298-5700

FAX: [1] (202) 298-5735

email address and website:
rusembusa@mid.ru

https://washington.mid.ru/en/

consulate(s) general: Houston, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant; recalled by Belarus in 2008); Charge d'Affaires Dmitry BASIK (since 9 July 2019)

chancery: 1619 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

telephone: [1] (202) 986-1606

FAX: [1] (202) 986-1805

email address and website:
usa@mfa.gov.by

consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador John J. SULLIVAN (since 5 February 2021)

embassy: Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8, Moscow 121099

mailing address: 5430 Moscow Place, Washington DC  20521-5430

telephone: [7] (495) 728-5000

FAX: [7] (495) 728-5090

email address and website:
MoscowACS@state.gov

https://ru.usembassy.gov/

consulate(s) general: Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant; left in 2008 upon insistence of Belarusian Government); Charge d'Affaires Jeffrey GIAUQUE (since July 2020)

embassy: 46 Starovilenskaya Street, Minsk 220002

mailing address: 7010 Minsk Place, Washington DC  20521-7010

telephone: [375] (17) 210-12-83/217-73-47/217-73-48

FAX: [375] (17) 334-78-53

email address and website:
ConsularMinsk@state.gov

https://by.usembassy.gov/
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red

note: the colors may have been based on those of the Dutch flag; despite many popular interpretations, there is no official meaning assigned to the colors of the Russian flag; this flag inspired several other Slav countries to adopt horizontal tricolors of the same colors but in different arrangements, and so red, blue, and white became the Pan-Slav colors
red horizontal band (top) and green horizontal band one-half the width of the red band; a white vertical stripe on the hoist side bears Belarusian national ornamentation in red; the red band color recalls past struggles from oppression, the green band represents hope and the many forests of the country
National anthemname: "Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii" (National Anthem of the Russian Federation)

lyrics/music: Sergey Vladimirovich MIKHALKOV/Aleksandr Vasilyevich ALEKSANDROV

note: in 2000, Russia adopted the tune of the anthem of the former Soviet Union (composed in 1939); the lyrics, also adopted in 2000, were written by the same person who authored the Soviet lyrics in 1943
name: "My, Bielarusy" (We Belarusians)

lyrics/music: Mikhas KLIMKOVICH and Uladzimir KARYZNA/Nester SAKALOUSKI

note: music adopted 1955, lyrics adopted 2002; after the fall of the Soviet Union, Belarus kept the music of its Soviet-era anthem but adopted new lyrics; also known as "Dziarzauny himn Respubliki Bielarus" (State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus)
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCthas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)bear, double-headed eagle; national colors: white, blue, redno clearly defined current national symbol, the mounted knight known as Pahonia (the Chaser) is the traditional Belarusian symbol; national colors: green, red, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Russia

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 3-5 years
citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Belarus

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years

Economy

RussiaBelarus
Economy - overview

Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a centrally planned economy towards a more market-based system. Both economic growth and reform have stalled in recent years, however, and Russia remains a predominantly statist economy with a high concentration of wealth in officials' hands. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy, transportation, banking, and defense-related sectors. The protection of property rights is still weak, and the state continues to interfere in the free operation of the private sector.

Russia is one of the world's leading producers of oil and natural gas, and is also a top exporter of metals such as steel and primary aluminum. Russia is heavily dependent on the movement of world commodity prices as reliance on commodity exports makes it vulnerable to boom and bust cycles that follow the volatile swings in global prices. The economy, which had averaged 7% growth during the 1998-2008 period as oil prices rose rapidly, has seen diminishing growth rates since then due to the exhaustion of Russia’s commodity-based growth model.

A combination of falling oil prices, international sanctions, and structural limitations pushed Russia into a deep recession in 2015, with GDP falling by close to 2.8%. The downturn continued through 2016, with GDP contracting another 0.2%, but was reversed in 2017 as world demand picked up. Government support for import substitution has increased recently in an effort to diversify the economy away from extractive industries.

As part of the former Soviet Union, Belarus had a relatively well-developed industrial base, but it is now outdated, inefficient, and dependent on subsidized Russian energy and preferential access to Russian markets. The country’s agricultural base is largely dependent on government subsidies. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, an initial burst of economic reforms included privatization of state enterprises, creation of private property rights, and the acceptance of private entrepreneurship, but by 1994 the reform effort dissipated. About 80% of industry remains in state hands, and foreign investment has virtually disappeared. Several businesses have been renationalized. State-owned entities account for 70-75% of GDP, and state banks make up 75% of the banking sector.

Economic output declined for several years following the break-up of the Soviet Union, but revived in the mid-2000s. Belarus has only small reserves of crude oil and imports crude oil and natural gas from Russia at subsidized, below market, prices. Belarus derives export revenue by refining Russian crude and selling it at market prices. Russia and Belarus have had serious disagreements over prices and quantities for Russian energy. Beginning in early 2016, Russia claimed Belarus began accumulating debt – reaching $740 million by April 2017 – for paying below the agreed price for Russian natural gas and Russia cut back its export of crude oil as a result of the debt. In April 2017, Belarus agreed to pay its gas debt and Russia restored the flow of crude.

New non-Russian foreign investment has been limited in recent years, largely because of an unfavorable financial climate. In 2011, a financial crisis lead to a nearly three-fold devaluation of the Belarusian ruble. The Belarusian economy has continued to struggle under the weight of high external debt servicing payments and a trade deficit. In mid-December 2014, the devaluation of the Russian ruble triggered a near 40% devaluation of the Belarusian ruble.

Belarus’s economy stagnated between 2012 and 2016, widening productivity and income gaps between Belarus and neighboring countries. Budget revenues dropped because of falling global prices on key Belarusian export commodities. Since 2015, the Belarusian government has tightened its macro-economic policies, allowed more flexibility to its exchange rate, taken some steps towards price liberalization, and reduced subsidized government lending to state-owned enterprises. Belarus returned to modest growth in 2017, largely driven by improvement of external conditions and Belarus issued sovereign debt for the first time since 2011, which provided the country with badly-needed liquidity, and issued $600 million worth of Eurobonds in February 2018, predominantly to US and British investors.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$3,968,180,000,000 (2019 est.)

$3,915,637,000,000 (2018 est.)

$3,818,780,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$181.286 billion (2019 est.)

$179.098 billion (2018 est.)

$173.63 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.34% (2019 est.)

2.54% (2018 est.)

1.83% (2017 est.)
1.22% (2019 est.)

3.17% (2018 est.)

2.53% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$27,044 (2019 est.)

$26,668 (2018 est.)

$26,006 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$19,150 (2019 est.)

$18,885 (2018 est.)

$18,280 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 4.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.4% (2017 est.)

services: 62.3% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 8.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 40.8% (2017 est.)

services: 51.1% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line12.6% (2018 est.)5% (2019 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.3%

highest 10%: 32.2% (2012 est.)
lowest 10%: 3.8%

highest 10%: 21.9% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.4% (2019 est.)

2.8% (2018 est.)

3.7% (2017 est.)
5.6% (2019 est.)

4.8% (2018 est.)

6% (2017 est.)
Labor force69.923 million (2020 est.)4.381 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 9.4%

industry: 27.6%

services: 63% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 9.7%

industry: 23.4%

services: 66.8% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate4.6% (2019 est.)

4.8% (2018 est.)
0.8% (2017 est.)

1% (2016 est.)

note: official registered unemployed; large number of underemployed workers
Distribution of family income - Gini index37.5 (2018 est.)

41.9 (2013)
25.2 (2018 est.)

21.7 (1998)
Budgetrevenues: 258.6 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 281.4 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 22.15 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 20.57 billion (2017 est.)
Industriescomplete 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; defense industries (including radar, missile production, advanced electronic components), 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, handicraftsmetal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks, earthmovers, motorcycles, synthetic fibers, fertilizer, textiles, refrigerators, washing machines and other household appliances
Industrial production growth rate-1% (2017 est.)5.6% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, sugar beet, milk, potatoes, barley, sunflower seed, maize, poultry, oats, soybeansmilk, potatoes, sugar beet, wheat, triticale, barley, maize, rye, rapeseed, poultry
Exports$551.128 billion (2019 est.)

$564.314 billion (2018 est.)

$534.657 billion (2017 est.)
$28.65 billion (2017 est.)

$22.98 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiescrude petroleum, refined petroleum, natural gas, coal, wheat, iron (2019)refined petroleum, fertilizers, cheese, delivery trucks, crude petroleum (2019)
Exports - partnersChina 14%, Netherlands 10%, Belarus 5%, Germany 5% (2019)Russia 42%, Ukraine 13%, United Kingdom 7% (2019)
Imports$366.919 billion (2019 est.)

$355.022 billion (2018 est.)

$345.926 billion (2017 est.)
$31.58 billion (2017 est.)

$25.61 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiescars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment, aircraft, computers (2019)crude petroleum, natural gas, cars and vehicle parts, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment (2019)
Imports - partnersChina 20%, Germany 13%, Belarus 6% (2019)Russia 57%, China 7%, Poland 5%, Germany 5%, Ukraine 5% (2019)
Debt - external$479.844 billion (2019 est.)

$484.355 billion (2018 est.)
$39.847 billion (2019 est.)

$39.297 billion (2018 est.)
Exchange ratesRussian rubles (RUB) per US dollar -

73.7569 (2020 est.)

63.66754 (2019 est.)

66.2 (2018 est.)

60.938 (2014 est.)

38.378 (2013 est.)
Belarusian rubles (BYB/BYR) per US dollar -

1.9 (2017 est.)

2 (2016 est.)

2 (2015 est.)

15,926 (2014 est.)

10,224.1 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar yearcalendar year
Public debt15.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

16.1% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
53.4% of GDP (2017 est.)

53.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$432.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$377.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.315 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$4.927 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance$65.311 billion (2019 est.)

$115.68 billion (2018 est.)
-$931 million (2017 est.)

-$1.669 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$1,702,361,000,000 (2019 est.)$63.168 billion (2019 est.)
Taxes and other revenues16.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)40.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)2.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 15.2%

male: 14.8%

female: 15.6% (2019 est.)
total: 10.2%

male: 12.9%

female: 7.3% (2019 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 52.4% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 2.3% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 26.2% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -20.6% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 54.8% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 14.6% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 24.9% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 5.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 67% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -67% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving27.6% of GDP (2019 est.)

30% of GDP (2018 est.)

25.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
27.8% of GDP (2019 est.)

29.2% of GDP (2018 est.)

28% of GDP (2017 est.)

Energy

RussiaBelarus
Electricity - production1.031 trillion kWh (2016 est.)31.58 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption909.6 billion kWh (2016 est.)31.72 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports13.13 billion kWh (2016 est.)3.482 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports3.194 billion kWh (2016 est.)6.319 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production10.759 million bbl/day (2018 est.)31,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports76,220 bbl/day (2015 est.)468,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports4.921 million bbl/day (2015 est.)31,730 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves80 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)198 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves47.8 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)2.832 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production665.6 billion cu m (2017 est.)59.46 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption467.5 billion cu m (2017 est.)17.7 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports210.2 billion cu m (2017 est.)0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports15.77 billion cu m (2017 est.)17.53 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity244.9 million kW (2016 est.)10.04 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels68% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)96% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants21% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production6.076 million bbl/day (2015 est.)477,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption3.65 million bbl/day (2016 est.)141,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports2.671 million bbl/day (2015 est.)351,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports41,920 bbl/day (2015 est.)14,630 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2020)electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Telecommunications

RussiaBelarus
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 27,674,128

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 19.38 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 4,451,144

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 46.88 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal subscriptions: 239,795,946

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 167.9 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 11,627,249

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 122.46 (2019 est.)
Internet country code.ru; note - Russia also has responsibility for a legacy domain ".su" that was allocated to the Soviet Union and is being phased out.by
Internet userstotal: 114,920,477

percent of population: 80.86% (July 2018 est.)
total: 7,539,145

percent of population: 79.13% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systemsgeneral assessment:

telecom market is largest in Europe, centered in large cities; competition active in Moscow and St Petersburg; most users access Internet through mobile platforms; fiber broadband sector is growing, supported by government in aim to extend reach to outlying regions; tests of 5G with Moscow adopting smart city technology; government justifies censorship and website blocks under a range of laws and regulations; government program aims to provide 97% of households with fixed broadband by 2024; publicly accessible Internet connections in institutions such as hospitals, libraries, schools, and mass transit available in cities; in rural areas, the availability of public Internet connections remains limited; major importer of broadcasting equipment and computers from China (2021)

(2020)

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, telephone services are still outdated, inadequate, and low-density; 22 per 100 for fixed-line and mobile-cellular 164 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 7; landing points for the Far East Submarine Cable System, HSCS, Sakhalin-Kuril Island Cable, RSCN, BCS North-Phase 2, Kerch Strait Cable and the Georgia-Russian submarine cable system connecting Russia, Japan, Finland, Georgia and Ukraine; satellite earth stations provide access to Intelsat, Intersputnik, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Orbita systems (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

general assessment:

government owns and administers backbone network and much of telecom market with no independent regulator; government and telecom regulator are concluding three major programs aimed at developing the telecom sector and digital economy to enable 5G services and extension of fiber infrastructure; growing applications for smart cities; developing mobile broadband and data services to rural areas; commercial LTE services extended to 80% of the population; operators provide standalone 5G service and NB-IoT services; international connection through fiber optic and terrestrial link, nascent satellite system; importer of broadcasting equipment from China (2021)

(2020)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is improving although rural areas continue to be underserved, 48 per 100 fixed-line; mobile-cellular teledensity now approaches 123 telephones per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 375; Belarus is landlocked and therefore a member of the Trans-European Line (TEL), Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line, and has access to the Trans-Siberia Line (TSL); 3 fiber-optic segments provide connectivity to Latvia, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine; worldwide service is available to Belarus through this infrastructure; additional analog lines to Russia; Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik earth stations; almost 31,000 base stations in service in 2019 (2020)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadband - fixed subscriptionstotal: 32,857,614

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 23.01 (2019 est.)
total: 3,214,869

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33.86 (2019 est.)
Broadcast media13 national TV stations with the federal government owning 1 and holding a controlling interest in a second; state-owned Gazprom maintains a controlling interest in 2 of the national channels; government-affiliated Bank Rossiya owns controlling interest in a fourth and fifth, while a sixth national channel is owned by the Moscow city administration; the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian military, respectively, own 2 additional national channels; roughly 3,300 national, regional, and local TV stations with over two-thirds completely or partially controlled by the federal or local governments; satellite TV services are available; 2 state-run national radio networks with a third majority-owned by Gazprom; roughly 2,400 public and commercial radio stations7 state-controlled national TV channels; Polish and Russian TV broadcasts are available in some areas; state-run Belarusian Radio operates 5 national networks and an external service; Russian and Polish radio broadcasts are available (2019)

Transportation

RussiaBelarus
Railwaystotal: 87,157 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 957 km 1.067-m gauge (on Sakhalin Island) (2014)

broad gauge: 86,200 km 1.520-m gauge (40,300 km electrified) (2014)

note: an additional 30,000 km of non-common carrier lines serve industries
total: 5,528 km (2014)

standard gauge: 25 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)

broad gauge: 5,503 km 1.520-m gauge (874 km electrified) (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 1,283,387 km (2012)

paved: 927,721 km (includes 39,143 km of expressways) (2012)

unpaved: 355,666 km (2012)
total: 86,600 km (2017)
Waterways102,000 km (including 48,000 km with guaranteed depth; the 72,000-km system in European Russia links Baltic Sea, White Sea, Caspian Sea, Sea of Azov, and Black Sea) (2009)2,500 km (major rivers are the west-flowing Western Dvina and Neman Rivers and the south-flowing Dnepr River and its tributaries, the Berezina, Sozh, and Pripyat Rivers) (2011)
Pipelines177700 km gas, 54800 km oil, 19300 km refined products (2016)5386 km gas, 1589 km oil, 1730 km refined products (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Kaliningrad, Nakhodka, Novorossiysk, Primorsk, Vostochnyy

oil terminal(s): Kavkaz oil terminal

container port(s) (TEUs): Saint Petersburg (2,221,724) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (export): Sakhalin Island

river port(s): Saint Petersburg (Neva River)
river port(s): Mazyr (Prypyats')
Merchant marinetotal: 2,808

by type: bulk carrier 15, container ship 16, general cargo 923, oil tanker 406, other 1,448 (2020)
total: 4

by type: other 4 (2020)
Airportstotal: 1,218 (2013)total: 65 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 594 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 54 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 197 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 123 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 95 (2017)

under 914 m: 125 (2017)
total: 33 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 20 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)

under 914 m: 7 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 624 (2013)

over 3,047 m: 4 (2013)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 13 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 69 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 81 (2013)

under 914 m: 457 (2013)
total: 32 (2013)

over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)

under 914 m: 28 (2013)
Heliports49 (2013)1 (2013)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 32 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 958

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 99,327,311 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 6,810,610,000 mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 30

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,760,168 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1.9 million mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixRAEW

Military

RussiaBelarus
Military branchesArmed Forces of the Russian Federation: Ground Troops (Sukhoputnyye Voyskia, SV), Navy (Voyenno-Morskoy Flot, VMF), Aerospace Forces (Vozdushno-Kosmicheskiye Sily, VKS); Airborne Troops (Vozdushno-Desantnyye Voyska, VDV), and Missile Troops of Strategic Purpose (Raketnyye Voyska Strategicheskogo Naznacheniya, RVSN) referred to commonly as Strategic Rocket Forces, are independent "combat arms," not subordinate to any of the three branches

Federal National Guard Troops Service of the Russian Federation (National Guard (FSVNG), Russian Guard, or Rosgvardiya): created in 2016 as an independent agency for internal/regime security, combating terrorism and narcotics trafficking, protecting important state facilities and government personnel, and supporting border security; forces under the National Guard include the Special Purpose Mobile Units (OMON), Special Rapid Response Detachment (SOBR), and Interior Troops (VV); these troops were originally under the command of the Interior Ministry (MVD)

Federal Security Services Border Troops (includes land and maritime forces) (2021)
Belarus Armed Forces: Army, Air and Air Defense Force, Special Operations Force, Special Troops (electronic warfare, signals, engineers, biological/chemical/nuclear protection troops, etc); Ministry of Interior: State Border Troops, Militia, Internal Troops (2021)
Military service age and obligation18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; one-year service obligation (Russia offers the option of serving on a two-year contract instead of completing a one-year conscription period); reserve obligation for non-officers to age 50; enrollment in military schools from the age of 16, cadets classified as members of the armed forces (2019)

note: in April of 2019, the Russian government pledged its intent to end conscription
18-27 years of age for compulsory military or alternative service; conscript service obligation is 12-18 months, depending on academic qualifications, and 24-36 months for alternative service, depending on academic qualifications; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2020)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP4% of GDP (2020 est.)

3.9% of GDP (2019)

3.8% of GDP (2018)

4.2% of GDP (2017)

5.4% of GDP (2016)
1.2% of GDP (2019)

1.2% of GDP (2018)

1.2% of GDP (2017)

1.3% of GDP (2016)

1.3% of GDP (2015)

Transnational Issues

RussiaBelarus
Disputes - international

Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with the 2004 Agreement, ending their centuries-long border disputes; the sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group, known in Japan as the "Northern Territories" and in Russia as the "Southern Kurils," occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities; Russia's military support and subsequent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence in 2008 continue to sour relations with Georgia; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea; Norway and Russia signed a comprehensive maritime boundary agreement in 2010; various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia (Kareliya) and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union following World War II but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands; Russia and Estonia signed a technical border agreement in May 2005, but Russia recalled its signature in June 2005 after the Estonian parliament added to its domestic ratification act a historical preamble referencing the Soviet occupation and Estonia's pre-war borders under the 1920 Treaty of Tartu; Russia contends that the preamble allows Estonia to make territorial claims on Russia in the future, while Estonian officials deny that the preamble has any legal impact on the treaty text; Russia demands better treatment of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia and Latvia; Russia remains involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine while also occupying Ukraine’s territory of Crimea; Lithuania and Russia committed to demarcating their boundary in 2006 in accordance with the land and maritime treaty ratified by Russia in May 2003 and by Lithuania in 1999; Lithuania operates a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals traveling from the Kaliningrad coastal exclave into Russia, while still conforming, as an EU member state with an EU external border, where strict Schengen border rules apply; preparations for the demarcation delimitation of land boundary with Ukraine have commenced; the dispute over the boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov is suspended due to the occupation of Crimea by Russia; Kazakhstan and Russia boundary delimitation was ratified on November 2005 and field demarcation should commence in 2007; Russian Duma has not yet ratified 1990 Bering Sea Maritime Boundary Agreement with the US; Denmark (Greenland) and Norway have made submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) and Russia is collecting additional data to augment its 2001 CLCS submission

boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Poland has implemented strict Schengen border rules to restrict illegal immigration and trade along its border with Belarus

Illicit drugslimited 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; major consumer of opiateslimited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for the domestic market; transshipment point for illicit drugs to and via Russia, and to the Baltics and Western Europe; a small and lightly regulated financial center; anti-money-laundering legislation does not meet international standards and was weakened further when know-your-customer requirements were curtailed in 2008; few investigations or prosecutions of money-laundering activities
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 41,251 (Ukraine) (2019)

stateless persons: 60,185 (2020); note - Russia's stateless population consists of Roma, Meskhetian Turks, and ex-Soviet citizens from the former republics; between 2003 and 2010 more than 600,000 stateless people were naturalized; most Meskhetian Turks, followers of Islam with origins in Georgia, fled or were evacuated from Uzbekistan after a 1989 pogrom and have lived in Russia for more than the required five-year residency period; they continue to be denied registration for citizenship and basic rights by local Krasnodar Krai authorities on the grounds that they are temporary illegal migrants
stateless persons: 6,296 (2020)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, although labor trafficking is the predominant problem; people from Russia and other countries in Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Asia, including Vietnam and North Korea, are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Russia’s construction, manufacturing, agriculture, repair shop, and domestic services industries, as well as forced begging and narcotics cultivation; North Koreans contracted under bilateral government arrangements to work in the timber industry in the Russian Far East reportedly are subjected to forced labor; Russian women and children were reported to be victims of sex trafficking in Russia, Northeast Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, while women from European, African, and Central Asian countries were reportedly forced into prostitution in Russia

tier rating: Tier 3 — Russia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, is not making significant efforts to do, and remains in Tier 3; the government took some steps to address trafficking by convicting some traffickers, facilitating the return of Russian children from Iraq and Syria, and identifying some victims, including foreign nationals; however, there was a government policy of forced labor, the number of victims identified was negligible, and authorities penalized potential victims without screening for signs of trafficking; the government offered no funding or programs for trafficking victims’ rehabilitation, prosecutions remained low compared with the scope of Russia’s trafficking problem, no national anti-trafficking strategy has been drafted, and government agencies have not been assigned roles or responsibilities (2020)
current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims and exploit Belarusians abroad; the majority of trafficking victims are men subjected to forced labor; most Belarusian victims are trafficked in Belarus and Russia, but also in Poland, Turkey, and other Eurasian and Middle Eastern countries; the government continued to subject factory workers, civil servants, and students to state-sponsored forced labor harvesting crops on state-owned farms or cleaning streets

tier rating: Tier 3 — Belarus does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking because of a government policy or pattern of government-sponsored forced labor in public works projects and the agricultural sector; however, authorities convicted traffickers under its trafficking statute for the first time in eight years, increased training for law enforcement officers, and confirmed significantly more victims; the government adopted a national action plan to protect minors from sexual violence and exploitation (2020)

Source: CIA Factbook