Russia is a federal semi-presidential state. It has a republican form of government and a centralized political system. The power is divided among the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

The executive power is concentrated in the President and the Prime Minister, although the President is dominant as the head of the state. The President of Russia is elected by the people for a term of 6 years for a maximum of two consecutive terms. The President is the chairman of his consultative bodies: the State Council and the Security Council and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The President determines basic domestic and foreign policies of the Russian Federation and he can veto draft bills. He is also vested with power to dismiss the government.

The Prime Minister is appointed as the head of the government by the President, with the State Duma’s approval.  Government duties are distributed between several ministries. The government ensures realization of domestic and foreign policies, works out the federal budget, provides the principles of law, human rights and freedoms.

The legislature in Russia is represented by the bicameral Federal Assembly. It consists of the State Duma (the lower house) and the Federation Council (the upper house). The Federal Assembly makes federal law, approves treaties and declares war. All bills must be first considered by the State Duma. Once a bill has been passed by a majority of the Duma, it is sent back to the Federation Council.  The Federation Council has such special powers as declaration of presidential elections, the President’s impeachment and decisions on the use of the armed forces outside Russia’s territory.

The judicial power in Russia is exercised by the courts and administered by the Ministry of Justice. The Supreme Court of Russia is at the highest level. The judges of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the High Arbitration Court are appointed by the Federation Council.

The Russian political system is multiparty. The party with its majority in the parliament can form the Russian government.

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