President of Russia

President of the Russian Federation
Президент Российской Федерации

Standard of the President of the Russian Federation
Vladimir Putin

since 7 May 2012
Style Mr. President
Comrade Supreme Commander
(among the military)
Residence Kremlin Senate
Grand Kremlin Palace
Seat Moscow
Appointer Direct popular vote
Term length Six years
(one consecutive re-election)
Inaugural holder Boris Yeltsin


  • 24 April 1991 (passage of presidency law[1])
  • 24 May 1991 (constitutional amendments[2])
  • 10 July 1991 (inauguration of the first President)
Modern status is defined by the Constitution of Russia, adopted on 12 December 1993
Succession Prime Minister of Russia
Salary 3.6 million rubles annually
Website (Russian) президент.рф
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The President of the Russian Federation (Russian: Президент Российской Федерации, tr. Prezident Rossiiskoi Federatsii) is the elected head of state, Supreme Commander-in-Chief and holder of the highest office within the Russian Federation. However, he is not the head of the executive branch. The Government of Russia is the highest organ of executive power.[3] The current President of Russia is Vladimir Putin.

In 1991, the office was briefly known as the President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian: Президент Российской Советской Федеративной Социалистической Республики) until 25 December 1991. According to the 1978 Russian Constitution, the President of Russia was head of the executive branch and headed the Council of Ministers of Russia. According to the current 1993 Constitution of Russia, the President of Russia is not a part of the Government of Russia, which exercises executive power.

In all cases where the President of the Russian Federation is unable to fulfill his duties, they shall be temporarily delegated to the Prime Minister, who becomes Acting President of Russia.[4] The Chairman of the Federation Council is the third important position after the President and the Prime Minister. In the case of incapacity of both the President and Prime Minister, the chairman of the upper house of parliament becomes acting head of state.[5][6]

The Russian President is considered to be one of the world's most powerful political figures, leading the world's biggest country. The role includes being the commander-in-chief of the one of the most expensive military with the largest nuclear arsenal. The office of the president holds significant hard and soft power both in Russia and abroad. The power includes execution of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal ministers, diplomatic, regulatory and judicial officers, and concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the State Duma and the Federation Council. The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn the Federal Assembly under extraordinary circumstances. The president also directs the foreign and domestic policy of the Russian Federation.

The president is indirectly elected by the people through the Electoral College to a six-year term. The law prohibits anyone from ever being elected to the presidency for a third term. In all, 4 individuals have served 3 presidencies (counting Chernomyrdin's short term as interim president in 1996) spanning 5 full four-year terms. On May 7, 2012, Vladimir Putin became the 4th and current president.

Selection process


A candidate for office must be a citizen of the Russian Federation who is at least 35 years old and has 'permanently resided' in Russia for at least 10 years.[7]

The Constitution of Russia limits the election of one person to the Presidency to two consecutive terms.[8] Since the constitution contains no ruling on a total number of terms that a President may serve, a former president may seek re-election after sitting out one complete term.


The election of the President is mainly regulated by the Presidential Election Law (PEL) and the Basic Guarantees of Electoral Rights (BGL).[9]

The Federation Council calls the presidential elections.[10] If it does not call a presidential election that is due, the Central Election Commission will call the presidential election.[11] The Election Day is the second Sunday of the month and the presidential electoral constituency is the territory of the Russian Federation as a whole.

Each faction in the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament has the right to nominate a candidate for the presidential elections. The minimum number of signatures for a presidential candidate fielded by a political party with no parliamentary representation is 100,000, down from 2 million before amendments to the law.[12]

Terms were extended from four to six years in 2008, during Dmitry Medvedev's administration.[13] The President is elected in a two-round system every six years, with a two consecutive term limitation.[14] If no candidate wins by an absolute majority in the first round, a second election round is held between two candidates with the most votes.[14] The last presidential election was in 2012, and the next is expected in 2018.[15]


Vladimir Putin takes the Presidential Oath while placing his right hand on the Presidential copy of the Russian Constitution.

Inauguration of the President of Russia is conducted six years after the inauguration of the previous president. If the President was elected in early elections, he takes the oath, thirty days after the announcement of the results.

Vacancy or disability

Vacancies in the office of President may arise under several possible circumstances: death, resignation and removal from office. In all cases when the President is unable to perform his duties, his powers are temporarily transferred to the Prime Minister until the new President takes office.


Chain of office

After the oath of office has been taken by the elected president, these following insignia are handed over to the president. These devices are used to display the rank of his office and are used on special occasions.

Chain of office

The first insignia that is issued is the chain of office with an emblem. The central emblem is a red cross, with arms in equal size, charged with the Russian coat of arms. On the reverse of the cross, the words "Benefit, Honor and Glory" appear in the form of a circle. A golden wreath is used to connect the cross with the rest of the chain. There are 17 "links" in the emblem, with nine consisting of the Russian coat of arms. The other eight consist of a rosette, also bearing the motto "Benefit, Honor and Glory." At the inauguration of Vladimir Putin, the emblem was placed on a red pillow, positioned on the left side of the podium. According to the Presidential website, the emblem is placed inside the Kremlin and is used only on certain occasions.

Standard (flag)

Presidential standard

The standard is a square version of the Russian flag, charged in the center with the Russian coat of arms. Golden fringe is added to the standard. Copies of the standard are used inside his office, at the Kremlin, other state agencies, and while the president is traveling in a vehicle inside Russia. A 2:3 ratio version of the flag is used when the President is at sea. This is the most used symbol to denote the presence of the Russian President.

Special copy of the Constitution

The President also has a special copy of the Russian Constitution that is used during the inauguration. This copy has a hard, red cover with gold lettering. An image of the Russian coat of arms appears in silver. The special copy is kept in the Presidential Library.

Legal basis of the insignia

These insignia and the procedure were established by the presidential decree 1138 from 5 August 1996.[16] and modified by decree 832 from 6 May 2000.[17] In the new decree the special copy of the Constitution was removed as the third symbol of the Russian Presidency; the other two symbols remained intact because they were and are regulated by separate decrees. Nonetheless, the special copy of the Constitution still exists and serves for inauguration purposes only without being officially presented as a symbol of the Russian Presidency.

Powers and duties

Guarantor of the Constitution

As the guarantor of the Constitution and the entire system of constitutional law, the President ensures that the constitutions, laws and regulations of the constituent territories of the Russian Federation be in full compliance with the country’s Constitution and federal laws.


The President is highly active in appointing top officials in the country. He nominates candidates for official state positions, who must ultimately be appointed based on parliamentary vote. The President submits nominations to the Federation Council, the upper house of the parliament, for judges of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Arbitration Court, as well as for Prosecutor General of Russia. A proposal to relieve the Prosecutor General of his duties must also be submitted to the Federation Council. The President submits to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, nominations for appointment to the office of the Chairman of the Central Bank, and likewise submits to the State Duma any proposal to relieve the Chairman of the Central Bank of his duties.[18]


Under the procedure stipulated by the Constitution, the President exercises his right to submit draft legislation, as well as the right to sign bills into law or to veto them.

The President has the right to suspend laws and regulations issued by executive bodies of Russia’s constituent territories if such laws and regulations contravene the Constitution, federal laws or international obligations of the Russian Federation, or violate human and civil rights and liberties, pending the resolution of the issue in an appropriate court.

The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of the Federal Assembly under extraordinary circumstances.

Other powers of the President in the sphere of legal activities and in his interaction with the Parliament include calling elections to the State Duma, dissolving the State Duma in certain cases, and calling referendum.

Domestic policy

Under the Constitution, the President is not empowered to determine the full range of short-, middle-, and long-term objectives and targets of domestic policy, but only its basic guidelines. They are to be implemented both by the President himself and by the Government of Russia within the bounds of their authority. The President’ fundamental positions on domestic policy issues are expressed in his written decisions regarding draft federal constitutional laws and draft federal laws, as well as his letters explaining the reasons for rejecting draft federal laws.

Within the bounds of the authority granted to the head of state by the Constitution and other laws, the President also shapes the basic domestic policy guidelines by issuing legal regulations and through organizational and regulatory activity, such as issuing decrees and executive orders. Each year the President is required to make an Address to the Federal Assembly regarding the situation in the country and the internal and foreign policy of the state.

Foreign policy

The President is invested with extensive rights to implement the state's foreign policy. The President determines Russia's position in international affairs and represents the state in international relations, conducts negotiations and signs ratification documents. The President appoints and recalls diplomatic representatives of Russia to foreign states and international organizations. These appointments are preceded by consultations with the respective committees or commissions of the two houses of the Federal Assembly. The President signs international treaties.

Ceremonial duties

An important ceremonial role of the President is awarding state awards. State Awards of the Russian Federation are the highest form of official recognition given to individuals for service to the nation in the fields of defense, state-building, economics, science, culture, art, education, health care, public safety, rights advocacy and charity. The state awards of the Russian Federation include the title of Hero of the Russian Federation, Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation as well as orders, medals, emblems and honorary titles. New state honors and awards can be established by the President, who also presents these honors to the recipients in an official ceremony. A Commission for State Honors, which works on a voluntary basis, helps the President to objectively assess potential recipients.


Cabinet of the President of Russia

The primary working President's residence is the Senate building (also known as 1st building) in the Moscow Kremlin complex.[19] Also the President can use the Grand Kremlin Palace (used for official ceremonies and meetings) and so called 14th Administrative Corpus Building[19] (the reserve residence).

The current (since 2000) home President's residence is Novo-Ogaryovo (Russian: Ново-Огарёво). It was planned that it would remain at the disposal of Vladimir Putin after his term ended, as Gorki-9 (Russian: Горки-9) (also called Barvikha (Russian: Барвиха), but actually near it) had remained at the disposal of Boris Yeltsin after his retirement.

Also, the President has several vacation residences outside of Moscow.[20]

Political affiliation

None of the Russian presidents to date were ever a member of a political party while in office. In 2012, commenting on stepping down from the post of United Russia party leader, Vladimir Putin said "The constitution doesn’t forbid the president to be a member of any party, but in the spirit of how our political life has evolved, a president is first and foremost a consolidating figure for all the political forces of the country, for all citizens".[21]


National transport services for the Russian President and the Presidential state car are provided by the Special Purpose Garage (SPG).[22] The SPG is a unit within the Federal Protective Service.

ZIL-41047 Presidential executive car.

Air transport services for the President are provided by the airline company Rossiya Airlines.[23]

The presidential aircraft uses the same colour scheme as standard Rossiya aircraft, except for the use of the Russian coat of arms or the Presidential Standard on the empennage instead of the flag of Russia.

In the spring of 2013 a helipad was constructed in the Moscow Kremlin. According to the Chief of the Kremlin Property Agency construction of a helicopter pad for the President cost 200 million rubles (about $6.4 mln). The helipad is located in the Kremlin's Tainitsky Garden close to exterior walls.[24]


Acting President Vladimir Putin with former President Boris Yeltsin in February 2000.
President Dmitry Medvedev with former President Vladimir Putin in November 2011.

On 16 August 1995, President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree "On some social guarantees of persons holding public positions of the Russian Federation and the position of federal public servants." 15 June 1999 went to President Yeltsin's decree on amendments and additions to the previous decree. On 11 November 1999 Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the implementation of the amended decree of 15 June 1999.

On 31 December 1999, the day of the resignation of Boris Yeltsin, the president issued a decree "On guarantees of the Russian Federation President, stop exercising his powers, and his family," and the eponymous federal law was adopted by 25 January 2001.

This law establishes the legal, social and other guarantees of the Russian Federation President, stop the execution of its powers in connection with the expiration of his term of office or in advance in the event of his resignation or permanent incapacity for health reasons to exercise the powers belonging to him and his family:

Beginning in 1999, all living former presidents were granted a pension, an office, and a staff. The pension has increased numerous times. Retired presidents receive a pension based on the salary of the government. All former presidents, their spouses, and their children until age 16 are protected by the Federal Protective Service until the president's death. A spouse who remarries or divorced from president is no longer eligible for Federal Protective Service protection.

As of December 2016, there is only one living former president (except Vladimir Putin, who was president from 2000 to 2008, and became president again in 2012) – Dmitry Medvedev.

List of presidents

NameTerm of officeLength of term
Boris Yeltsin 1991–1999 8 years, 174 days
Vladimir Putin (1st tenure) 1999–2008 8 years, 128 days
Dmitry Medvedev 2008–2012 4 years, 0 days
Vladimir Putin (2nd tenure) 2012–present 4 years, 213 days

Presidential administrations

See also


  1. RSFSR Law "On President of the Russian SFSR
  2. RSFSR Law on amendments to the Constitution of the RSFSR
  3. I.E. Kozlova and O. E. Kutafin, Konstitutsionnoe Pravo Rossii (Constitutional Law of Russia) (4th ed, 2006) p. 383
  4. "Конституция Российской Федерации". Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  5. "Пост Председателя Совета Федерации РФ – это третий пост в стране. В случае недееспособности президента и премьера именно председатель верхней палаты парламента должен возглавить государство.". Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  6. ""Почему у нас третье лицо в государстве Председатель Совета Федерации? Потому что это федерация, он не распускается, он действует постоянно." - Сергей Шахрай". Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  7. The Constitution of the Russian Federation : A Contextual Analysis, Henderson, Jane
  9. thato, phengo; begang, Rita James (2009). Voting and Elections the World Over. Global Perspectives on Social Issues Series. Lexington Books. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-7391-3090-2.
  10. Constitution of Russia article 102:1
  11. Kozlova and O. E. Kutafin, Konstitutsionnoe Pravo Rossii (Constitutional Law of Russia) (4th ed, 2006) p. 373.
  12. "Medvedev Signs Off on Election, Party Signature Laws". RIA Novosti. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  13. Sefanov, Mike (22 December 2008). "Russian presidential term extended to 6 years". CNN.
  14. 1 2 Gueorguieva & Simon 2009, p. 79.
  15. Herszenhorn, David M. (5 March 2012). "Observers Detail Flaws in Russian Election". New York Times. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  16. Coбpaниe зaкoнoдaтeльcтвa Рoccийcкoй Фeдepaции 1996, №33, ar. 3976
  17. Coбpaниe зaкoнoдaтeльcтвa Рoccийcкoй Фeдepaции 2000, №19, ar. 2068
  18. "Authority and Duties of the President". Archived from the original on 10 February 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  19. 1 2 The Presidential Residences (English)
  20. Vladimir Putin Residences, Kommersant, #18(3594), 7 February 2007
  21. "Putin steps down as United Russia head". 24 April 2012. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  22. President's transports. Cars (Russian) Archived 24 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. "President's transports. Air transport". Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-23. (Russian)
  24. "Putin's Kremlin Helipad Cost $6.4 Mln – Official". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 18 May 2013.

Attribution note: Material from the powers and duties section of this article was originally published by the website of the Office of the President of Russia.

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