Despite the controversial opinions on the Russian Academy of Sciences reform, on 27th September Vladimir Putin approved the federal law 'On the Russian Academy of Sciences, the reorganisation of the state academies of sciences and amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation' and the decree 'On the Federal agency for research organisations'.
According to the adopted law the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the Academy of Medical Sciences (RAMS) and the Academy of Agricultural Sciences (RAAS) are merged into one structure without autodestruction. To note RAS currently encompasses 436 research institutes and organisations, together employing 48,000 research fellows; RAAS has 198 research institutions and over 300 science services organizations at its disposal; RAMS controls 33 research and educational establishments.
All academic institutions and other scientific organisations in the country will be under the jurisdiction of the Federal Agency for Scientific Organisations (FASO) - a special federal executive body authorised by the Russian government to exercise the functions and powers as the owner of federal property allocated to the aforementioned organisations. The head of FASO is appointed Michael Kotykov, who earlier was Deputy Minister of finance. FASO will have up to seven deputy heads, and in the structure of the central office - up to 18 offices in key areas.
Additionally there will be a new procedure for the appointment of directors of institutions – the candidates suggested by the Russian Academy of Sciences have to be approved by the Presidential Council for Science and Education, and only then the candidates have to be approved by FASO. Russian Academy of Sciences will be still responsible for coordination of the research work not only in the academic institutions, but in all scientific organisations and in institutions of higher education across the country. The Academy has received the status of a legal body as well as the status of the federal government budget institutions.