The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) was founded in Saint Petersburg on the order of Peter the Great and by Decree of the Senate of January 28 (February 8 - by Julian calendar), 1774. The Academy immediately responded to the demands of the times through its scientific research and publications, and quite soon achieved scientific results that were at par with those of other European institutions. The traditions and scientific schools established and further developed by the Academy, as well as its world excellence of research in basic and applied science naturally merited the status of the top scientific institution of the country. Between 1925 and 1991 the Academy bore the name that incorporated the name of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. It was reconstituted as the Russian Academy of Sciences on November 21, 1991 by a decree of the President of the Russian Federation that also confirmed its status as the highest scientific institution in Russia.