SPECIAL REGIONAL CONSIDERATIONS - RUSSIA
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At 17,075,400 square kilometers (6,592,800 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than an eighth of the Earth's land area; with 142 million people, it is the ninth largest by population. It extends across the whole of northern Asia and 40% of Europe. Russia shares land borders with the following countries (counterclockwise from northwest to southeast): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea, and is also close to the United States (Alaska) and Japan. It borders the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Caspian Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Black Sea.
Russia established worldwide power and influence from the times of the Russian Empire to being the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first and largest constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower. The Russian Federation was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the Soviet Union. It has one of the world's fastest growing major economies and has the world's eleventh largest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by nominal GDP or seventh largest by purchasing power parity with the eighth largest military budget. It is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the world's largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia has the world's largest natural gas reserves, the second largest coal reserves and the eighth largest oil reserves. It is the world's leading natural gas exporter and the second leading oil exporter. Russia is also considered well ahead of most other resource-rich countries in its economic development, with a long tradition of education, science, and industry. The country has more higher education graduates than any other country in Europe.
1 Russia, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia