The author offers a critical examination of the general provisions on contract in the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. Focusing narrowly on the text of the code, the paper starts with a broad overview of, and commentary on, the general provisions and their relation to other parts of the code, and then provides a detailed article-by-article commentary on individual provisions. Potential difficulties are identified and suggestions are offered for how the text might be clarified (and in particular simplified) or, in certaincases, substantively changed. The author contends that the general provisions provide for a legal framework that is appropriate in broad terms; however, individual articles in the provisions are not beyond criticism. The author makes clear that his criticisms and suggestions are largely at the level of fine-tuning, rather than first principle.