Finland is located in the geographical region of Fennoscandia in Northern Europe. The country has a total land area of about 130,128 square miles and water covers about 10% of the country in the form of approximately 188,000 lakes. Forest covers 69% of the total land area, with 8% as cultivated land. Finland borders three sovereign nations which include Russia, Norway, and Sweden. Finland has a total land boundary of 1,593 miles, while its coastline is 780 miles. The country is mainly divided into three topographical areas: coastal landscapes, Finnish Lake District, and Upland Finland. The country’s climate is influenced by latitude with the northern region experiencing long winters and the south coast experiencing long summers. The most significant sector of Finland’s economy is the service industry followed by manufacturing. Finland’s main export products include electrical, optical and transport equipment, and machinery among others.
Russia, which is officially known as the Russian Federation, is located in Eurasia. The country is currently the largest in the world having a total area of 6,592,800 square miles and has a population now estimated at 144 million. Russia borders Finland to the west with a border covering a distance of 813 miles. The Finland-Russia border was first demarcated in 1920 and there were subsequent changes that followed leading to an accurately defined border by 1965. Due to its size, Russia spans 11 time zones. The Russian Federation shares land borders with 16 sovereign nations including Finland, Norway, China, Ukraine and North Korea. Russia has broad stretches of plain which are steppes to the south while the north is heavily forested. Mountain ranges are spread across the southern borders, with the Caucasus having the highest mountain in both Russia and Europe and the Altai Mountains having the highest mountain in Siberia. The Eastern regions also have mountain ranges that include the volcanoes of Kamchatka Peninsula which has the highest active volcano in Eurasia. Russia has thousands of rivers and water bodies with the largest water body being the world’s deepest, oldest, and purest freshwater lake, Lake Baikal. The economy of Russia is of mixed upper and middle income. The country has immense natural resources but mainly oil and natural gas which accounts for 80% of its exports together with metals and timber. Russia is a regional power and is characterized as a potential superpower. It has the largest stock of weapons of mass destruction and is among the five recognized nuclear weapon states. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and is set to host the 2018 World Cup games.
Norway is officially referred to as the Kingdom of Norway finds its location in northern Europe occupying the Scandinavian Peninsula’s western half. The name Norway is derived from the Old English word Norpweg meaning northern way. The Kingdom of Norway was established through merging many small kingdoms starting in the year 872. The country has a total area of 148,747 square miles. Norway borders Finland to the northeast with a land and river border that is 457 miles long. The Finland-Norway border was defined in 1751 through a treaty that also included the Swedish-Norwegian border. The country borders Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Norway’s population was estimated at 5 million in 2017. Norway comprises of high or mountainous terrain, making it one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. The Scandinavian Mountains form much of its border with Sweden. Norway has the most rugged coastlines in the world with about 50,000 islands. The country has vast natural resources that include petroleum, fish, and minerals. Norway has a mixed economy and is considered the largest producer of oil outside the Middle East. The country comes second to China as the largest exporter of fish. At the UN Climate Summit in 2014, Norway declared that it has banned cutting trees to conserve rainforests becoming the first country to do so; hence the country needs to find new ways to provide essential products. The country is a founding member of the United Nations and NATO. The living standard in Norway is among the highest in the world.
Sweden, which is officially referred to as the Kingdom of Sweden, is located in Northern Europe. The country borders Finland to the East as well as Norway and Denmark. The name Sweden was derived from the Old English word, Sweopeod, meaning “people of the Swedes” and was borrowed from the Dutch in the 17th century. Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe with a total area of 173,732 square miles. The Finland-Sweden border stretches for 339 miles and was created through the Treaty of Fredrikshamn in 1809 when Sweden surrendered Finland to Russia. The population of Sweden stood at 10 million on December 31, 2017. Sweden is a heavily forested country with 69% covered in forest and woodland. The country has approximately 95,700 lakes that are sometimes used to generate power. Sweden’s mountainous region is in most of the northern and western parts of the country. To the south of this mountainous region, the traditional heartland of Sweden is found, a land with a large population. This land is part of the Central Swedish lowland. Sweden’s economy is mixed and export-oriented. The country’s largest exporting sector is engineering and Sweden is considered among the largest exporters of arms in the world. Sweden ranks highly in many national performance metrics such as quality of life, education, health, and human development.
Foreign RelationsThe Republic of Finland’s foreign policy mainly preserves the nation’s political and territorial integrity. Finland has maintained its principle of neutrality and keeps a good relationship with many countries. The country has also maintained a cordial relationship with its biggest neighbor, Russia. Finland depends on gas and electricity from Russia while the later remains the single most crucial importer of Finland’s products. The relationship between the two countries experiences common issues such as airspace violations and bureaucracy, especially at the Vaalimaa border crossing. Finland is a member of the European Union and the United Nations.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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