Trade Union Forum


General overview

Russia is one of the leading industrial and space powers of the world, ranking the sixth in the world and the second in Europe in terms of GDP (2020). The currency of the Russian Federation is the ruble (RUB/₽). The nominal volume of the country's GDP in 2020, according to the Federal State Statistics Service of Russia, amounted to 106,607 trillion rubles or 1.7 trillion US dollars. Russia’s economic system is in transition.

The organization of the country's production is based on the natural resource potential, which makes up more than 20% of the world's reserves. Many types of mineral raw materials are extracted: oil, natural gas, coal, iron ore, apatites, potassium salts, phosphorites, diamonds, etc.

Russia ranks the first in the world in terms of gas reserves (32% of world reserves, 30% of world production); the second in terms of oil production (348.8 million tons and 10% of world production); the third in terms of coal reserves (22 coal basins, 115 deposits, about 15.6% in European Russia; 66.8% in Siberia; 12.9% in the Far East; 4.3% in the Urals).

For the purposes of economic planning and development, 12 economic districts are allocated in Russia:

  • East Siberian: active development of stone deposits, brown coal, iron and copper-nickel ores. The largest city is Krasnoyarsk.
  • Volga-Vyatka: rich forest and water resources. The largest city is Nizhny Novgorod.
  • Far East: active development of coal, oil, gas, tin, gold and diamond deposits. The largest city is Vladivostok.
  • West Siberian: deposits of coal, natural gas, oil, iron and polymetallic ore are being developed in the area. The largest city is Novosibirsk.
  • Kaliningrad region: amber, brown coal, phosphorites and rock salt are mined in the area. The largest city is Kaliningrad.
  • Volga region: the main resources are oil and gas, grazing of sheep and cattle. The largest agricultural region where sunflower, rice, mustard, late-planted vegetables and sugar beets are grown. The largest city is Kazan.
  • North: active production of oil, gas, coal, iron, copper-nickel, aluminum ores, apatite. The largest city is Murmansk.
  • North-West: the soil is gray-wooded, swampy; the region has extensive water resources. Peat, oil shale, bauxite, phosphorite, limestone, glass sand and granite are extracted in this region. The largest city is St. Petersburg.
  • North-Caucasian: this region produces coal, oil and gas, ores of non-ferrous and rare metals, mining and chemical raw materials, raw materials for the production of building materials, as well as various agricultural crops. The largest city is Rostov-on-Don.
  • Ural region: this region produces oil, iron, non-ferrous ores, potash salts, hard and brown coal, natural gas and nickel. The largest city is Yekaterinburg.
  • Tsentral-Chernozyomny region: rich with fertile soil (chernozem). The largest city is Voronezh.
  • Central region: has the most developed manufacturing industry. It is located at the intersection of land and water roads. The largest city is Moscow.


Economic branches

The leading sectors of the Russian economy are industry (more than 32% of GDP) and the services (more than 70% of GDP). Agriculture accounts for more than 6% of the country's GDP.

The industry of the Russian Federation includes competitive industries that develop on their own financial basis (oil, gas, mining and processing of precious gems and metals); industries with high scientific potential (aircraft construction, aerospace manufacturing, nuclear industry, production of weapons and military equipment, electrical engineering, pulp and paper industry, etc.); industries with a technical backlog (automobile industry, transport, road and agricultural engineering, light and food industry).

Agriculture of the Russian Federation spans the crop farming (including grain-farming — production of wheat, rye, sugar beets, oilseeds, sunflower, potatoes, vegetables, horticulture and fodder production); livestock farming (cattle, pigs, sheep, camel breeding, poultry and fish farming, herding, beekeeping).

The services sector in the Russian Federation includes services provided by enterprises, organizations and individuals: consumer services (education, health, social assistance, tourism, culture, etc.); services aimed at in the interaction of economic agents and services of public administration, security and order protection.

Export and import

The main items of export include hydrocarbon raw materials (oil and petroleum products, natural gas, coal), metallurgical and chemical products, machinery, equipment, weapons, and food. Timber and mineral fertilizers are also among the leading export items. Russia’s export partners are the Netherlands (more than 14% of exports), Germany (6.9%), China (6.8%), Italy (6.2%), Turkey (5.2%), Ukraine (5.2%), Belarus (4.7%), Poland (3.8%). In 2018, Russia's exports amounted to 443 billion US dollars.

In 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation reported that total trade in 2018 amounted to 672 billion dollars with a positive balance of 177.2 billion dollars; exports of 424.6 billion dollars, imports of 247.4 billion dollars; non-primary non-energy exports from Russia in 2018 increased by 11.6 %, industrial exports — by 10.2 %. The growth trend is currently continuing.

Russia provides for the most needs of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in oil and petroleum products, gas, timber, machinery and equipment. Russia is the main trade partner for most borderline countries.

Russia's main import partners are China (16.6%), Germany (12.2%), Ukraine (5.7%), Japan (5%), the United States (4.9%), France (4.4%), Italy (4.3%), and Belarus (3.6%). Russia's imports are machinery and equipment, vehicles, consumer goods, food, chemical products, and consumer industrial goods.

Labor force

According to the Federal State Statistics Service of Russia, the number of the labor force in 2019 was 76,176 thousand people (15 years and older); 72,669 thousand people (95.4% of the labor force) were engaged in economic activity and 3,507 thousand people (4.6%) did not have a profitable occupation, but actively sought it (in accordance with the methodology of the International Labor Organization, they are classified as unemployed). In October 2019, the number of unemployed citizens was 3,476 thousand people.

The lowest level of unemployment, determined in accordance with the ILO criteria, is observed in the Central Federal District (2.9% of the labor force), the highest — in the North Caucasus Federal District (10.9%).

The average salary in the Russian Federation in 2020 was 44,149 rubles, or 586 US dollars.