World Facts

Which Country Is Closest To The US Without Sharing A Land Border?

US shares a maritime but not a land border with Russia.

The US is a nation that spans approximately 3,796,742 square miles, and due to the large area it occupies, it ranks as the third largest nation in the world. The US is one of the world's most powerful countries due to its economic might and military power. The US shares its land borders with two nations, Canada and Mexico, and the total length of the country's borders is approximately 7,478 miles long. The country that is nearest to the US without sharing land limits is Russia because at their closest point the two nations are roughly 2.5 miles apart.

Bering Strait

The Bering Strait is a body of water that separates the Russian and American nations. The Bering Strait draws its name from a Danish explorer, Vitus Bering, who worked for the Russian government to explore the region. The narrowest section of the strait is located between two capes, Dezhenev in Russia and Prince of Wales in the US. The eastern area of the strait lies within US territory with towns such as Nome and Teller located in the US section of the region. Towns in the Russian part of the strait include Lavrentiya and Lorino. There are two islands located at the center of the strait one which belongs to the US, Little Diomede, and the other, Little Diomede, which belongs to Russia. The International Date Line separates the two islands which cause the American and Russian section to have different dates. Some of the most well-known explorers to cross the channel include Mikhail Gvozdev and Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld.

Developments Along the Strait 

Several developments have been proposed along the strait by the governments of both nations; however, some challenges faced the projects. One of the first projects to be proposed in the region was a telegraph line that was proposed by a telegraph company that operated in Russia and America. Baron Loicq de Lobel made proposals to construct a bridge and a tunnel in the area to link the territories of Alaska and Siberia. One of the major supporters of the project was Czar Nicholas II who commissioned Loicq to begin the project. Despite the Czar's support the project never truly began. The government of Russia proposed the construction of a dam in the Bering Strait which faced stiff opposition from the US with significant opponents being the CIA and FBI who were concerned about the national security of the US. The proposed dam also faced stiff opposition in Russia from D. A. Drogaytsev, a scientist who was concerned with the dam's environmental impact. The other nation that has considered a development project in the region is China. The Chinese government had considered the possibility of building a railway that would link China, Russia, Canada, and the US. A section of the railway 120 miles long would pass beneath the Bering Strait.

Russian-American Relations 

The two nations have a complicated relationship that encompasses trade and diplomatic ties. One of the most volatile periods between the two nations was during the cold war. One of the regions that were significantly affected was the Bering Strait as the border between the two nations was closed preventing the traditional movement of indigenous people in the area. Tensions in the region reduced significantly after Lynne Cox swam across the border.

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