Russia is a semi-presidential federation, located in Eastern Europe and North Asia bordering the Arctic Ocean. Parliament (The Federal Assembly) consists of two houses: 450-seat State Duma (the lower house) and 170-seat Federation Council (the upper house). The president is directly elected by absolute majority popular vote and appoints the prime-minister. Russia is one of the largest producers and exporters of crude oil and natural gas. Its economy is 7th largest in the world (by GDP PPP), but is ranked only 71st by GDP per capita. Around 56% of Russia’s merchandise exports are directed to just two markets (European Union and China). Fuel and minerals make up 67% of Russia’s exports. Total external trade volume is 24% of GDP. The central bank, Central Bank of Russia (CBR), pursues an inflation-targeting approach to monetary policy and maintains a free floating exchange rate regime. Russian rouble is closely correlated with the prices for key export commodities. Economic weaknesses include: dependence on energy prices, capital flight, geopolitical risks (conflict with Ukraine, strained relations with the West, economic sanctions).