of Russia

Location: Northern Asia (that part west of the Urals is sometimes included with Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean

Map references: Asia


total area: 17,075,200 sq km

land area: 16,995,800 sq km

comparative area: slightly more than 1.8 times the size of the US

Land boundaries: total 20,139 km, Azerbaijan 284 km, Belarus 959 km, China (southeast) 3,605 km, China (south) 40 km, Estonia 290 km, Finland 1,313 km, Georgia 723 km, Kazakhstan 6,846 km, North Korea 19 km, Latvia 217 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 227 km, Mongolia 3,441 km, Norway 167 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 432 km, Ukraine 1,576 km

Coastline: 37,653 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: inherited disputes from former USSR including: sections of the boundary with China; islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, and Shikotan and the Habomai group occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, administered by Russia, claimed by Japan; maritime dispute with Norway over portion of the Barents Sea; Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined; potential dispute with Ukraine over Crimea; Estonia claims over 2,000 sq km of Russian territory in the Narva and Pechora regions; the Abrene section of the border ceded by the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic to Russia in 1944; has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other nation

Climate: much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast

Terrain: broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions

Natural resources: wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, timber

Note: formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distancehinder exploitation of natural resources

Land use: arable land: 8%
permanent crops: NEGL%
meadows and pastures: 5%
forest and woodland: 45%
other: 42%
Irrigated land: 56,000 sq km (1992)

Environment: current issues: air pollution from heavy industry, emissions of coal-firedelectric plants, and transportation in major cities;industrial and agricultural pollution of inland waterwaysand sea coasts; deforestation; soil erosion; soilcontamination from improper application of agriculturalchemicals; scattered areas of sometimes intenseradioactive contamination

natural hazards: permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impedimentto development; volcanic activity in the Kuril Islands;volcanoes and earthquakes on the Kamchatka Peninsula

international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides,Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, ClimateChange, Endangered Species, EnvironmentalModification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping,Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, ShipPollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling;signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Sulphur 94,Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Biodiversity, Law ofthe Sea

Note: largest country in the world in terms of area but unfavorably located in relation to major sea lanes of the world; despite its size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture


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