Lao People's Democratic Republic occupies an area of 236,800 square kilometres and has a population of 6,472,000 million people. The capital is Vientian. The President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone has occupied his post since 8 June 2006. Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia.
The supreme body of state power is the National Assembly of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPDR). The Parliament can elect the President by a 2/3 majority vote and may appoint or dismiss the Prime Minister upon the recommendation of the President.
The country's GDP growth has been estimated at over 7.5 percent annually throughout the past ten years, the highest performing rate across all ASEAN Member States. Income per capita reached $1,857 in 2015, with a GDP of $10 billion. Foreign trade amounted to $8.2 billion, constituted by $4.7 billion in imports and $3.5 billion in exports.
Diplomatic relations between Russia and Laos were established on 7 October 1960. On 31 December 1991 Laos recognised Russia as the successor state to the USSR.
Trade between Russia and Laos totalled $16.5 million in 2015, of which Russian exports amounted to $15.7 million and imports to $0.8 million. Russia's exports were mainly machinery, equipment and vehicles, while import consisted mostly of textiles. Russian investment in Laos' economy centred on mineral prospecting, the hydroelectric industry, telecommunications, and other areas. A major investment project will see the construction of Sekong-5 hydroelectric station with a capacity of 330 MW.
Russia and Laos have long since established educational ties. Over 17,000 Lao specialists completed their education in USSR/Russia. Among graduates are five out eleven members of the Politburo of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party and 18 out of the total 58 members of the Party's Central Committee.
Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia.
The population of Laos has increased from 3.5 million to 6.4 million people over the past 30 years.
Over 17,000 Laotian professionals have received their education in the Soviet Union and Russia.