Home

Estonia vs. Russia

Introduction

EstoniaRussia
BackgroundAfter centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US - it regained its freedom in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia has been free to promote economic and political ties with the West. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004, formally joined the OECD in late 2010, and adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2011.
Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new ROMANOV Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 contributed to the Revolution of 1905, which resulted in the formation of a parliament and other reforms. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the imperial household. The communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. The brutal rule of Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened communist rule and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. After defeating Germany in World War II as part of an alliance with the US (1939-1945), the USSR expanded its territory and influence in Eastern Europe and emerged as a global power. The USSR was the principal adversary of the US during the Cold War (1947-1991). The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the decades following Stalin’s rule, until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent republics.
Following economic and political turmoil during President Boris YELTSIN's term (1991-99), Russia shifted toward a centralized authoritarian state under the leadership of President Vladimir PUTIN (2000-2008, 2012-present) in which the regime seeks to legitimize its rule through managed elections, populist appeals, a foreign policy focused on enhancing the country's geopolitical influence, and commodity-based economic growth. Russia faces a largely subdued rebel movement in Chechnya and some other surrounding regions, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.

Geography

EstoniaRussia
LocationEastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia
North Asia bordering the Arctic Ocean, extending from Europe (the portion west of the Urals) to the North Pacific Ocean
Geographic coordinates59 00 N, 26 00 E
60 00 N, 100 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Asia
Areatotal: 45,228 sq km
land: 42,388 sq km
water: 2,840 sq km
note: includes 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea
total: 17,098,242 sq km
land: 16,377,742 sq km
water: 720,500 sq km
Area - comparativeabout twice the size of New Jersey
approximately 1.8 times the size of the US
Land boundariestotal: 657 km
border countries (2): Latvia 333 km, Russia 324 km
total: 22,408 km
border countries (14): Azerbaijan 338 km, Belarus 1,312 km, China (southeast) 4,133 km, China (south) 46 km, Estonia 324 km, Finland 1,309 km, Georgia 894 km, Kazakhstan 7,644 km, North Korea 18 km, Latvia 332 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 261 km, Mongolia 3,452 km, Norway 191 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 210 km, Ukraine 1,944 km
Coastline3,794 km
37,653 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: limits as agreed to by Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Sweden, and Russia
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatemaritime; wet, moderate winters, cool summers
ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in 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
Terrainmarshy, lowlands; flat in the north, hilly in the south
broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 61 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
highest point: Suur Munamagi 318 m
mean elevation: 600 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
highest point: Gora El'brus 5,633 m (highest point in Europe)
Natural resourcesoil shale, peat, rare earth elements, phosphorite, clay, limestone, sand, dolomite, arable land, sea mud
wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, reserves of rare earth elements, timber
note: formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources
Land useagricultural land: 22.2%
arable land 14.9%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 7.2%
forest: 52.1%
other: 25.7% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 13.1%
arable land 7.3%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 5.7%
forest: 49.4%
other: 37.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land40 sq km (2012)
43,000 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardssometimes flooding occurs in the spring
permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impediment to development; volcanic activity in the Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on the Kamchatka Peninsula; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia
volcanism: significant volcanic activity on the Kamchatka Peninsula and Kuril Islands; the peninsula alone is home to some 29 historically active volcanoes, with dozens more in the Kuril Islands; Kliuchevskoi (elev. 4,835 m), which erupted in 2007 and 2010, is Kamchatka's most active volcano; Avachinsky and Koryaksky volcanoes, which pose a threat to the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, have been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; other notable historically active volcanoes include Bezymianny, Chikurachki, Ebeko, Gorely, Grozny, Karymsky, Ketoi, Kronotsky, Ksudach, Medvezhia, Mutnovsky, Sarychev Peak, Shiveluch, Tiatia, Tolbachik, and Zheltovsky
Environment - current issuesair polluted with sulfur dioxide from oil-shale burning power plants in northeast; however, the amounts of pollutants emitted to the air have fallen dramatically and the pollution load of wastewater at purification plants has decreased substantially due to improved technology and environmental monitoring; Estonia has more than 1,400 natural and manmade lakes, the smaller of which in agricultural areas need to be monitored; coastal seawater is polluted in certain locations
air pollution from heavy industry, emissions of coal-fired electric plants, and transportation in major cities; industrial, municipal, and agricultural pollution of inland waterways and seacoasts; deforestation; soil erosion; soil contamination from improper application of agricultural chemicals; scattered areas of sometimes intense radioactive contamination; groundwater contamination from toxic waste; urban solid waste management; abandoned stocks of obsolete pesticides
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
Geography - notethe mainland terrain is flat, boggy, and partly wooded; offshore lie more than 1,500 islands
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; Mount El'brus is Europe's tallest peak; Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world, is estimated to hold one fifth of the world's fresh water
Population distributiona fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
population is heavily concentrated in the westernmost fifth of the country extending from the Baltic Sea, south to the Caspian Sea, and eastward parallel to the Kazakh border; elsewhere, sizeable pockets are isolated and generally found in the south

Demographics

EstoniaRussia
Population1,258,545 (July 2016 est.)
142,355,415 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 16.12% (male 104,011/female 98,809)
15-24 years: 9.3% (male 60,714/female 56,291)
25-54 years: 41.64% (male 263,762/female 260,334)
55-64 years: 13.47% (male 76,063/female 93,479)
65 years and over: 19.47% (male 82,968/female 162,114) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 16.94% (male 12,385,281/female 11,726,473)
15-24 years: 9.71% (male 7,071,489/female 6,754,928)
25-54 years: 45.16% (male 31,528,258/female 32,753,350)
55-64 years: 14.27% (male 8,727,233/female 11,591,221)
65 years and over: 13.92% (male 6,152,252/female 13,664,930) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 42.4 years
male: 39 years
female: 45.8 years (2016 est.)
total: 39.3 years
male: 36.4 years
female: 42.3 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate-0.54% (2016 est.)
-0.06% (2016 est.)
Birth rate10.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
11.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate12.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
13.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-3.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
1.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.81 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.51 male(s)/female
total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.75 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.45 male(s)/female
total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 6.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 76.7 years
male: 71.9 years
female: 81.7 years (2016 est.)
total population: 70.8 years
male: 65 years
female: 76.8 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.6 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.61 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate1.3% (2013 est.)
NA
Nationalitynoun: Estonian(s)
adjective: Estonian
noun: Russian(s)
adjective: Russian
Ethnic groupsEstonian 68.7%, Russian 24.8%, Ukrainian 1.7%, Belarusian 1%, Finn 0.6%, other 1.6%, unspecified 1.6% (2011 est.)
Russian 77.7%, Tatar 3.7%, Ukrainian 1.4%, Bashkir 1.1%, Chuvash 1%, Chechen 1%, other 10.2%, unspecified 3.9%
note: nearly 200 national and/or ethnic groups are represented in Russia's 2010 census (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS8,600 (2013 est.)
NA
ReligionsLutheran 9.9%, Orthodox 16.2%, other Christian (including Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal) 2.2%, other 0.9%, none 54.1%, unspecified 16.7% (2011 est.)
Russian Orthodox 15-20%, Muslim 10-15%, other Christian 2% (2006 est.)
note: estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet rule; Russia officially recognizes Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as traditional religions
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
NA
LanguagesEstonian (official) 68.5%, Russian 29.6%, Ukrainian 0.6%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Russian (official) 85.7%, Tatar 3.2%, Chechen 1%, other 10.1%
note: data represent native language spoken (2010 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
vectorborne disease: tickborne encephalitis (2016)
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne disease: tickborne encephalitis (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2015)
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2014)
Education expenditures4.8% of GDP (2013)
3.9% of GDP (2012)
Urbanizationurban population: 67.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.45% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 74% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.13% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0.4% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 98.9% of population
rural: 91.2% of population
total: 96.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.1% of population
rural: 8.8% of population
total: 3.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 96.6% of population
total: 97.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 3.4% of population
total: 2.8% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 77% of population
rural: 58.7% of population
total: 72.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 23% of population
rural: 41.3% of population
total: 27.8% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationTALLINN (capital) 391,000 (2015)
MOSCOW (capital) 12.166 million; Saint Petersburg 4.993 million; Novosibirsk 1.497 million; Yekaterinburg 1.379 million; Nizhniy Novgorod 1.212 million; Samara 1.164 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate9 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures6.4% of GDP (2014)
7.1% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density3.32 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
3.31 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density5.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
9.7 beds/1,000 population (2006)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate24.5% (2014)
26.2% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth26.5 years (2013 est.)
24.6 years (2009 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 53.5
youth dependency ratio: 24.7
elderly dependency ratio: 28.8
potential support ratio: 3.5 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 43.1
youth dependency ratio: 24
elderly dependency ratio: 19.1
potential support ratio: 5.2 (2015 est.)

Government

EstoniaRussia
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Estonia
conventional short form: Estonia
local long form: Eesti Vabariik
local short form: Eesti
former: Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the country name may be derived from the Aesti, an ancient people who lived along the eastern Baltic Sea in the first centuries A.D.
conventional long form: Russian Federation
conventional short form: Russia
local long form: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya
local short form: Rossiya
former: Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
etymology: Russian lands were generally referred to as Muscovy until PETER I officially declared the Russian Empire in 1721; the new name sought to invoke the patrimony of the medieval eastern European Rus state centered on Kyiv in present-day Ukraine; the Rus were a Varangian (eastern Viking) elite that imposed their rule and eventually their name on their Slavic subjects
Government typeparliamentary republic
semi-presidential federation
Capitalname: Tallinn
geographic coordinates: 59 26 N, 24 43 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
name: Moscow
geographic coordinates: 55 45 N, 37 36 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
note: Russia has 11 time zones, the largest number of contiguous time zones of any country in the world; in 2014, two time zones were added and DST was dropped
Administrative divisions15 counties (maakonnad, singular - maakond); Harjumaa (Tallinn), Hiiumaa (Kardla), Ida-Virumaa (Johvi), Jarvamaa (Paide), Jogevamaa (Jogeva), Laanemaa (Haapsalu), Laane-Virumaa (Rakvere), Parnumaa (Parnu), Polvamaa (Polva), Raplamaa (Rapla), Saaremaa (Kuressaare), Tartumaa (Tartu), Valgamaa (Valga), Viljandimaa (Viljandi), Vorumaa (Voru)
note: counties have the administrative center name following in parentheses
46 provinces (oblastey, singular - oblast), 21 republics (respublik, singular - respublika), 4 autonomous okrugs (avtonomnykh okrugov, singular - avtonomnyy okrug), 9 krays (krayev, singular - kray), 2 federal cities (goroda, singular - gorod), and 1 autonomous oblast (avtonomnaya oblast')
oblasts: Amur (Blagoveshchensk), Arkhangel'sk, Astrakhan', Belgorod, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Irkutsk, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kemerovo, Kirov, Kostroma, Kurgan, Kursk, Leningrad, Lipetsk, Magadan, Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Orel, Penza, Pskov, Rostov, Ryazan', Sakhalin (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Samara, Saratov, Smolensk, Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), Tambov, Tomsk, Tula, Tver', Tyumen', Ul'yanovsk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Vologda, Voronezh, Yaroslavl'
republics: Adygeya (Maykop), Altay (Gorno-Altaysk), Bashkortostan (Ufa), Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude), Chechnya (Groznyy), Chuvashiya (Cheboksary), Dagestan (Makhachkala), Ingushetiya (Magas), Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal'chik), Kalmykiya (Elista), Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk), Kareliya (Petrozavodsk), Khakasiya (Abakan), Komi (Syktyvkar), Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola), Mordoviya (Saransk), North Ossetia (Vladikavkaz), Sakha [Yakutiya] (Yakutsk), Tatarstan (Kazan'), Tyva (Kyzyl), Udmurtiya (Izhevsk)
autonomous okrugs: Chukotka (Anadyr'), Khanty-Mansi-Yugra (Khanty-Mansiysk), Nenets (Nar'yan-Mar), Yamalo-Nenets (Salekhard)
krays: Altay (Barnaul), Kamchatka (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy), Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Perm', Primorskiy [Maritime] (Vladivostok), Stavropol', Zabaykal'sk [Transbaikal] (Chita)
federal cities: Moscow [Moskva], Saint Petersburg [Sankt-Peterburg]
autonomous oblast: Yevreyskaya [Jewish] (Birobidzhan)
note 1: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
note 2: the United States does not recognize Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the municipality of Sevastopol, nor their redesignation as the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol
Independence20 August 1991 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)
24 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: 1157 (Principality of Vladimir-Suzdal created); 16 January 1547 (Tsardom of Muscovy established); 22 October 1721 (Russian Empire proclaimed); 30 December 1922 (Soviet Union established)
National holidayIndependence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24 February 1918 was the date Estonia declared its independence from Soviet Russia and established its statehood; 20 August 1991 was the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union
Russia Day, 12 June (1990)
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest adopted 28 June 1992
amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of Parliament members or by the president of the republic; passage requires three readings of the proposed amendment and a simple majority vote in two successive memberships of Parliament; passage of amendments to the “General Provisions” and “Amendment of the Constitution” chapters requires at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament to conduct a referendum and majority vote in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
history: several previous (during Russian Empire and Soviet eras); latest drafted 12 July 1993, adopted by referendum 12 December 1993, effective 25 December 1993
amendments: proposed by the president of the Russian Federation, by either house of the Federal Assembly, by the government of the Russian Federation, or by legislative (representative) bodies of the Federation's constituent entities; proposals to amend the government’s constitutional system, human and civil rights and freedoms, and procedures for amending or drafting a new constitution require formation of a Constitutional Assembly; passage of such amendments requires two-thirds majority vote of its total membership; passage in a referendum requires participation of an absolute majority of eligible voters and an absolute majority of valid votes; approval of proposed amendments to the government structure, authorities, and procedures requires approval by the legislative bodies of at least two-thirds of the Russian Federation's constituent entities; amended 2008, 2014 (2017)
Legal systemcivil law system
civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts
Suffrage18 years of age; universal for all Estonian citizens
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Kersti KALJULAID (since 10 October 2016)
head of government: Juri RATAS (since 23 November 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); if a candidate does not secure two-thirds of the votes after 3 rounds of balloting, then an electoral college consisting of Parliament members and local council members elects the president, choosing between the 2 candidates with the highest number of votes; election last held on 29-30 August 2016 but three rounds were inconclusive; two electoral college votes on 24 September 2016 were also indecisive, so the election passed back to Parliament; on 3 October the Parliament elected Kersti KALJULAID as president; prime minister nominated by the president and approved by Parliament
election results: Kersti KALJULAID elected president; Parliament vote - Kersti KALJULAID (independent) 81 of 98 votes; note - KALJULAID is Estonia's first female president
"chief of state: President Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (since 7 May 2012)
head of government: Premier Dmitriy Anatolyevich MEDVEDEV (since 8 May 2012); First Deputy Premier Igor Ivanovich SHUVALOV (since 12 May 2008); Deputy Premiers Arkadiy Vladimirovich DVORKOVICH (since 21 May 2012), Olga Yuryevna GOLODETS (since 21 May 2012), Aleksandr Gennadiyevich KHLOPONIN (since 19 January 2010), Dmitriy Nikolayevich KOZAK (since 14 October 2008), Vitaliy Leontyevich MUTKO (since 19 October 2016), Dmitriy Olegovich ROGOZIN (since 23 December 2011), Sergey Eduardovich PRIKHODKO (since 22 May 2013), Yuriy Petrovich TRUTNEV (since 31 August 2013)
cabinet: the ""Government"" is composed of the premier, his deputies, and ministers, all appointed by the president; the premier is also confirmed by the Duma
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 4 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2018); note - term length extended to 6 years from 4 years in late 2008, effective after the 2012 election; there is no vice president; premier appointed by the president with the approval of the Duma
election results: Vladimir PUTIN elected president; percent of vote - Vladimir PUTIN (United Russia) 63.6%, Gennadiy ZYUGANOV (CPRF) 17.2%, Mikhail PROKHOROV(Civic Platform) 8%, Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKIY (LDPR) 6.2%, Sergey MIRONOV (A Just Russia) 3.9%, other 1.1%; Dmitriy MEDVEDEV (United Russia) approved as premier by Duma; vote - 299 to 144
note: there is also a Presidential Administration that provides staff and policy support to the president, drafts presidential decrees, and coordinates policy among government agencies; a Security Council also reports directly to the president
"
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 1 March 2015 (next to be held in March 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - RE 27.7%, K 24.8%, SDE 15.2%, IRL 13.7%, EV 8.7%, EKRE 8.1%, other 1.8%; seats by party - RE 30, K 27, SDE 15, IRL 14, EV 8, EKRE 7
description: bicameral Federal Assembly or Federalnoye Sobraniye consists of the Federation Council or Sovet Federatsii (166 seats; 2 members in each of the 83 federal administrative units (see note below) - oblasts, krays, republics, autonomous okrugs and oblasts, and the federal cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg - appointed by the top executive and legislative officials; members serve 4-year terms) and the State Duma or Gosudarstvennaya Duma (450 seats; as of February 2014, the electoral system reverted to a mixed electoral system for the 2016 election in which one-half of the members are directly elected by simple majority vote and one-half directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: State Duma - last held on 18 September 2016 (next to be held in fall 2021)
election results: State Duma - United Russia 76.5%, CPRF 9.3%, LDPR 8.7%, A Just Russia 5.1%, Rodina 0.2%, CP 0.2%; seats by party - United Russia 344, CPRF 42, LDPR 39, A Just Russia 23, Rodina 1, CP 1
note: the State Duma now includes 3 representatives and the Federation Council 2 each from the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol, two regions that Russia occupied and attempted to annex from Ukraine and that the US does not recognize as part of Russia
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 19 justices including the chief justice and organized into civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional review chambers)
judge selection and term of office: the chief justice is proposed by the president of the republic and appointed by the Riigikogu; other justices proposed by the chief justice and appointed by the Riigikogu; justices appointed for life
subordinate courts: circuit (appellate) courts; administrative, county, city, and specialized courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (consists of 170 members organized into the Judicial Panel for Civil Affairs, the Judicial Panel for Criminal Affairs, and the Military Panel); Constitutional Court (consists of 19 members); note - in February 2014, Russia’s Superior Court of Arbitration was abolished and its former authorities transferred to the Supreme Court, which in addition to being the country’s highest judicial authority for appeals, civil, criminal, administrative cases, and military cases, and the disciplinary judicial board, now has jurisdiction over economic disputes
judge selection and term of office: all members of Russia's 3 highest courts nominated by the president and appointed by the Federation Council (the upper house of the legislature); members of all 3 courts appointed for life
subordinate courts: Higher Arbitration Court; regional (kray) and provincial (oblast) courts; Moscow and St. Petersburg city courts; autonomous province and district courts; note - the 14 Russian Republics have court systems specified by their own constitutions
Political parties and leadersCenter Party of Estonia (Keskerakond) or K [Juri RATAS]
Estonian Conservative People's Party (Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond) or EKRE [Mart HELME]
Estonian Reform Party (Reformierakond) or RE [Hanno PEVKUR]
Free Party or EV [Andres HERKEL]
Social Democratic Party or SDE [Jevgeni OSSINOVSKI]
Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica (Isamaa je Res Publica Liit) or IRL [Margus TSAHKNA]
A Just Russia [Sergey MIRONOV]
Civic Platform or CP [Rifat SHAYKHUTDINOV]
Communist Party of the Russian Federation or CPRF [Gennadiy ZYUGANOV]
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR [Vladimir ZHIRINOVSKIY]
Rodina [Aleksei ZHURAVLYOV]
United Russia [Dmitriy MEDVEDEV]
note: 78 political parties are registered with Russia's Ministry of Justice (as of October 2015), but only six parties maintain representation in Russia's national legislature, and two of these only have one deputy apiece
International organization participationAustralia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, BSEC, CBSS, CD, CE, CERN (observer), CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAEU, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, FAO, FATF, G-20, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Eerik MARMEI (since 18 September 2014)
chancery: 2131 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-0101
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0108
consulate(s) general: New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Sergey Ivanovich KISLYAK (since 16 September 2008)
chancery: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 298-5700, 5701, 5704, 5708
FAX: [1] (202) 298-5735
consulate(s) general: Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador James D. MELVILLE Jr. (since 8 December 2015)
embassy: Kentmanni 20, 15099 Tallinn
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [372] 668-8100
FAX: [372] 668-8265
chief of mission: Ambassador John Francis TEFFT (since 19 November 2014)
embassy: Bolshoy Deviatinskiy Pereulok No. 8, 121099 Moscow
mailing address: PSC-77, APO AE 09721
telephone: [7] (495) 728-5000
FAX: [7] (495) 728-5090
consulate(s) general: Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white; various interpretations are linked to the flag colors; blue represents faith, loyalty, and devotion, while also reminiscent of the sky, sea, and lakes of the country; black symbolizes the soil of the country and the dark past and suffering endured by the Estonian people; white refers to the striving towards enlightenment and virtue, and is the color of birch bark and snow, as well as summer nights illuminated by the midnight sun
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red
note: the colors may have been based on those of the Dutch flag; despite many popular interpretations, there is no official meaning assigned to the colors of the Russian flag; this flag inspired several other Slav countries to adopt horizontal tricolors of the same colors but in different arrangements, and so red, blue, and white became the Pan-Slav colors
National anthem"name: ""Mu isamaa, mu onn ja room"" (My Native Land, My Pride and Joy)
lyrics/music: Johann Voldemar JANNSEN/Fredrik PACIUS
note: adopted 1920, though banned between 1940 and 1990 under Soviet occupation; the anthem, used in Estonia since 1869, shares the same melody as Finland's but has different lyrics
"
"name: ""Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii"" (National Anthem of the Russian Federation)
lyrics/music: Sergey Vladimirovich MIKHALKOV/Aleksandr Vasilyevich ALEKSANDROV
note: in 2000, Russia adopted the tune of the anthem of the former Soviet Union (composed in 1939); the lyrics, also adopted in 2000, were written by the same person who authored the Soviet lyrics in 1943
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)barn swallow, cornflower; national colors: blue, black, white
bear, double-headed eagle; national colors: white, blue, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Estonia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Russia
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 3-5 years

Economy

EstoniaRussia
Economy - overviewEstonia, a member of the EU since 2004 and the euro zone since 2011, has a modern market-based economy and one of the higher per capita income levels in Central Europe and the Baltic region, but its economy is highly dependent on trade, leaving it vulnerable to external shocks. Estonia's successive governments have pursued a free market, pro-business economic agenda, and sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets and low public debt.

The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and strong trade ties with Finland, Sweden, Germany, and Russia. After two years of robust recovery in 2011 and 2012, the Estonian economy faltered in 2013 with only 1.6% GDP growth, mainly due to continuing recession in much of the EU. GDP growth in 2014 picked up to 2.9% but dropped below 2% in 2015-16 due to lower demand in key Scandinavian and Russian export markets. In 2016 the government implemented modest increases in fiscal spending, which may contribute to GDP growth in 2017.

Estonia is challenged by a shortage of labor, both skilled and unskilled, although the government has amended its immigration law to allow easier hiring of highly qualified foreign workers.
Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a centrally planned economy towards a more market-based system. Both economic growth and reform have stalled in recent years, however, and Russia remains a predominantly statist economy with a high concentration of wealth in officials' hands. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy, transportation, banking, and defense-related sectors. The protection of property rights is still weak, and the state continues to interfere in the free operation of the private sector.

Russia is one of the world's leading producers of oil and natural gas, and is also a top exporter of metals such as steel and primary aluminum. Russia's reliance on commodity exports makes it vulnerable to boom and bust cycles that follow the volatile swings in global prices.

The economy, which had averaged 7% growth during 1998-2008 as oil prices rose rapidly, has seen diminishing growth rates since then due to the exhaustion of Russia’s commodity-based growth model.

A combination of falling oil prices, international sanctions, and structural limitations pushed Russia into a deep recession in 2015, with the GDP falling by close to 4%. The downturn continued through 2016, with GDP contracting by 0.6%. Government support for import substitution has increased recently in an effort to diversify the economy away from extractive industries. Russia is heavily dependent on the movement of world commodity prices and the Central Bank of Russia estimates that if oil prices remain below $40 per barrel in 2017, the resulting shock would cause GDP to fall by up to 5%.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$38.93 billion (2016 est.)
$38.28 billion (2015 est.)
$37.72 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$3.751 trillion (2016 est.)
$3.774 trillion (2015 est.)
$3.92 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate1.7% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2015 est.)
2.7% (2014 est.)
-0.6% (2016 est.)
-3.7% (2015 est.)
0.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$29,500 (2016 est.)
$29,000 (2015 est.)
$28,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$26,100 (2016 est.)
$26,300 (2015 est.)
$27,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 3.5%
industry: 28.1%
services: 68.4% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 4.7%
industry: 33.1%
services: 62.2% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line21.3% (2015 est.)
13.3% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 25.6% (2015)
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 32.2% (2012 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.1% (2016 est.)
-0.5% (2015 est.)
5.8% (2016 est.)
15.5% (2015 est.)
Labor force651,200 (2016 est.)
76.9 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 3.1%
industry: 20.2%
services: 76.7% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 9.4%
industry: 27.6%
services: 63% (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate6.8% (2016 est.)
6.2% (2015 est.)
5.3% (2016 est.)
5.8% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index34.8 (2015)
35.6 (2014)
41.2 (2015)
41.9 (2013)
Budgetrevenues: $9.559 billion
expenditures: $9.489 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $186.5 billion
expenditures: $230.2 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesfood, engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textiles; information technology, telecommunications
complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries (including radar, missile production, advanced electronic components), shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate3.2% (2016 est.)
0.7% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrain, potatoes, vegetables; livestock and dairy products; fish
grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk
Exports$13.24 billion (2016 est.)
$12.24 billion (2015 est.)
$285.5 billion (2016 est.)
$343.5 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and electrical equipment 30%, food products and beverages 9%, mineral fuels 6%, wood and wood products 14%, articles of base metals 7%, furniture and bedding 11%, vehicles and parts 3%, chemicals 4% (2016 est.)
petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, metals, wood and wood products, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures
Exports - partnersSweden 18.8%, Finland 16%, Latvia 10.4%, Russia 6.7%, Lithuania 5.9%, Germany 5.2%, Norway 4.1% (2015)
Netherlands 11.9%, China 8.3%, Germany 7.4%, Italy 6.5%, Turkey 5.6%, Belarus 4.4%, Japan 4.2% (2015)
Imports$15 billion (2016 est.)
$13.19 billion (2015 est.)
$182.3 billion (2016 est.)
$182.7 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and electrical equipment 28%, mineral fuels 11%, food and food products 10%, vehicles 9%, chemical products 8%, metals 8% (2015 est.)
machinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, plastic, semi-finished metal products, meat, fruits and nuts, optical and medical instruments, iron, steel
Imports - partnersFinland 14.5%, Germany 11%, Lithuania 9%, Sweden 8.5%, Latvia 8.3%, Poland 7.4%, Russia 6.1%, Netherlands 5.5%, China 4.8% (2015)
China 19.2%, Germany 11.2%, US 6.4%, Belarus 4.8%, Italy 4.6% (2015)
Debt - external$19.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$18.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$514.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$520.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rateskroon (EEK) per US dollar -
0.8985 (2016 est.)
0.9012 (2015 est.)
0.9012 (2014 est.)
0.7525 (2013 est.)
Russian rubles (RUB) per US dollar -
68.06 (2016 est.)
60.938 (2015 est.)
60.938 (2014 est.)
38.378 (2013 est.)
30.84 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt9.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
10.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities, including sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government, and social security funds
13.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
9.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$475.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$414.8 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$365.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$368.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance$613 million (2016 est.)
$496 million (2015 est.)
$22.2 billion (2016 est.)
$69 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$23.48 billion (2016 est.)
$1.268 trillion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$22.86 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$22.02 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$348 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$342.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$9.414 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$9.164 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$359.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$336.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$6.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.799 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$7.127 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$635.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$393.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$385.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate0% (31 December 2016 est.)
0.05% (31 December 2015 est.)
10% (31 December 2016 est.)
11% (03 August 2015)
note: this is the so-called refinancing rate, but in Russia banks do not get refinancing at this rate; this is a reference rate used primarily for fiscal purposes
Commercial bank prime lending rate4.8% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.48% (31 December 2015 est.)
12.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
15.73% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$21.29 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$19.88 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$818.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$603.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$12.85 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$10.96 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
$199.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$151.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$14.71 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$14.05 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$177.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$926.8 billion (31 October 2014 est.)
Taxes and other revenues40.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
-3.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 15%
male: 19.3%
female: 10% (2014 est.)
total: 13.7%
male: 13.3%
female: 14.1% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 51.2%
government consumption: 20.9%
investment in fixed capital: 24.3%
investment in inventories: -1%
exports of goods and services: 79.2%
imports of goods and services: -74.6% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 55.8%
government consumption: 19.9%
investment in fixed capital: 21.6%
investment in inventories: -3.2%
exports of goods and services: 25.8%
imports of goods and services: -19.9% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving24.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
26.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
27.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
24.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
23.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
23.7% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

EstoniaRussia
Electricity - production10.42 billion kWh (2015 est.)
1.062 trillion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption7.44 billion kWh (2015 est.)
1.065 trillion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports6.377 billion kWh (2015 est.)
14.67 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports5.452 billion kWh (2015 est.)
6.623 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
10.83 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
15,110 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - exports15,190 bbl/day (2015 est.)
5.116 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
80 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
47.8 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2015 est.)
635.5 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - consumption471 million cu m (2015 est.)
453.3 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2015 est.)
222.9 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - imports471 million cu m (2015 est.)
8.9 billion cu m (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity2.818 million kW (2015 est.)
248 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels84.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
68.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
20.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
10.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources15.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
6.053 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption27,710 bbl/day (2015 est.)
3.693 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports6,954 bbl/day (2015 est.)
3.133 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports32,610 bbl/day (2015 est.)
13,350 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy5.8 million Mt (2013 est.)
1.756 billion Mt (2014 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

EstoniaRussia
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 387,607
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 36,524,978
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 26 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 1.904 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 150 (July 2015 est.)
total: 227.288 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 160 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: foreign investment in the form of joint business ventures greatly improved telephone service with a wide range of high-quality voice, data, and Internet services available
domestic: substantial fiber-optic cable systems carry telephone, TV, and radio traffic in the digital mode; Internet services are widely available; schools and libraries are connected to the Internet, a large percentage of the population files income tax returns online, and online voting - in local and parliamentary elections - has climbed steadily since first introduced in 2005; 85% of Estonian households have broadband access
international: country code - 372; fiber-optic cables to Finland, Sweden, Latvia, and Russia provide worldwide packet-switched service; 2 international switches are located in Tallinn (2016)
general assessment: the telephone system is experiencing significant changes; more than 1,000 companies licensed to offer communication services; access to digital lines has improved, particularly in urban centers; progress made toward building the telecommunications infrastructure necessary for a market economy; the estimated number of mobile subscribers jumped from fewer than 1 million in 1998 to 255 million in 2016; fixed-line service has improved but a large demand remains
domestic: cross-country digital trunk lines run from Saint Petersburg to Khabarovsk, and from Moscow to Novorossiysk; the telephone systems in 60 regional capitals have modern digital infrastructures; cellular services, both analog and digital, are available in many areas; in rural areas, telephone services are still outdated, inadequate, and low-density
international: country code - 7; connected internationally by undersea fiber -optic cables; satellite earth stations provide access to Intelsat, Intersputnik, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Orbita systems (2016)
Internet country code.ee
".ru; note - Russia also has responsibility for a legacy domain "".su"" that was allocated to the Soviet Union and is being phased out
"
Internet userstotal: 1.119 million
percent of population: 88.4% (July 2015 est.)
total: 104.553 million
percent of population: 73.4% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediathe publicly owned broadcaster, Eesti Rahvusringhaaling (ERR), operates 3 TV channels and 5 radio networks; growing number of private commercial radio stations broadcasting nationally, regionally, and locally; fully transitioned to digital television in 2010; national private TV channels expanding service; a range of channels are aimed at Russian-speaking viewers; in 2016, there were 42 on-demand services available in Estonia, including 19 pay TVOD and SVOD services; roughly 85% of households accessed digital television services (2016)
13 national TV stations with the federal government owning 1 and holding a controlling interest in a second; state-owned Gazprom maintains a controlling interest in 2 of the national channels; government-affiliated Bank Rossiya owns controlling interest in a fourth and fifth, while a sixth national channel is owned by the Moscow city administration; the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian military, respectively, own 2 additional national channels; roughly 3,300 national, regional, and local TV stations with over two-thirds completely or partially controlled by the federal or local governments; satellite TV services are available; 2 state-run national radio networks with a third majority-owned by Gazprom; roughly 2,400 public and commercial radio stations (2016)

Transportation

EstoniaRussia
Railwaystotal: 2,146 km
broad gauge: 2,146 km 1.520-m and 1.524-m gauge (132 km electrified)
note: includes 1,510 km public and 636 km non-public railway (2016)
total: 87,157 km
broad gauge: 86,200 km 1.520-m gauge (40,300 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 957 km 1.067-m gauge (on Sakhalin Island)
note: an additional 30,000 km of non-common carrier lines serve industries (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 58,412 km (includes urban roads)
paved: 10,427 km (includes 115 km of expressways)
unpaved: 47,985 km (2011)
total: 1,283,387 km
paved: 927,721 km (includes 39,143 km of expressways)
unpaved: 355,666 km (2012)
Waterways335 km (320 km are navigable year round) (2011)
102,000 km (including 48,000 km with guaranteed depth; the 72,000-km system in European Russia links Baltic Sea, White Sea, Caspian Sea, Sea of Azov, and Black Sea) (2009)
Pipelinesgas 2,360 km (2016)
gas 177,700 km; oil 54,800 km; refined products 19,300 km (2016)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Kuivastu, Kunda, Muuga, Parnu Reid, Sillamae, Tallinn
major seaport(s): Kaliningrad, Nakhodka, Novorossiysk, Primorsk, Vostochnyy
river port(s): Saint Petersburg (Neva River)
oil terminal(s): Kavkaz oil terminal
container port(s) (TEUs): Saint Petersburg (2,365,174)
LNG terminal(s) (export): Sakhalin Island
Merchant marinetotal: 109
by type: cargo 15, passenger/cargo 18, fishing vessels 41, technical and support vessels 35 (2016)
foreign-owned: 3 (Germany 1, Norway 2)
registered in other countries: 63 (Antigua and Barbuda 10, Belize 1, Cambodia 1, Canada 1, Cook Islands 1, Cyprus 6, Dominica 6, Finland 2, Latvia 3, Malta 16, Russia 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 8, Sierra Leone 2, Sweden 3, Venezuela 1, unknown 1) (2010)
total: 1,143
by type: bulk carrier 20, cargo 642, carrier 3, chemical tanker 57, combination ore/oil 42, container 13, passenger 15, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 244, refrigerated cargo 84, roll on/roll off 13, specialized tanker 3
foreign-owned: 155 (Belgium 4, Cyprus 13, Estonia 1, Ireland 1, Italy 14, Latvia 2, Netherlands 2, Romania 1, South Korea 1, Switzerland 3, Turkey 101, Ukraine 12)
registered in other countries: 439 (Antigua and Barbuda 3, Belgium 1, Belize 30, Bulgaria 2, Cambodia 50, Comoros 12, Cook Islands 1, Cyprus 46, Dominica 3, Georgia 6, Hong Kong 1, Kiribati 1, Liberia 109, Malaysia 2, Malta 45, Marshall Islands 5, Moldova 5, Mongolia 2, Panama 49, Romania 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 13, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 11, Sierra Leone 7, Singapore 2, Spain 6, Vanuatu 7, unknown 19) (2010)
Airports18 (2013)
1,218 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 13
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
total: 594
over 3,047 m: 54
2,438 to 3,047 m: 197
1,524 to 2,437 m: 123
914 to 1,523 m: 95
under 914 m: 125 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
total: 624
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 13
1,524 to 2,437 m: 69
914 to 1,523 m: 81
under 914 m: 457 (2013)
Heliports1 (2012)
49 (2013)

Military

EstoniaRussia
Military branchesEstonian Defense Forces (Eesti Kaitsevagi): Ground Forces (Maavagi), Navy (Merevagi), Air Force (Ohuvagi), Reserves (Kaitseliit) (2016)
"Ground Troops (Sukhoputnyye Voyskia, SV), Navy (Voyenno-Morskoy Flot, VMF), Air Forces (Voyenno-Vozdushniye Sily, VVS); Airborne Troops (Vozdushno-Desantnyye Voyska, VDV), Missile Troops of Strategic Purpose (Raketnyye Voyska Strategicheskogo Naznacheniya, RVSN) referred to commonly as Strategic Rocket Forces, and Aerospace Defense Troops (Voyska Vozdushno-Kosmicheskoy Oborony or Voyska VKO) are independent ""combat arms,"" not subordinate to any of the three branches; Russian Ground Troops include the following combat arms: motorized-rifle troops, tank troops, missile and artillery troops, air defense of the Ground Troops (2014)
"
Military service age and obligation18-27 for compulsory military or governmental service, conscript service requirement 8-11 months depending on education; NCOs, reserve officers, and specialists serve 11 months (2016)
18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; 1-year service obligation (conscripts can only be sent to combat zones after 6 months of training); reserve obligation for non-officers to age 50; enrollment in military schools from the age of 16, cadets classified as members of the armed forces
note: the chief of the General Staff Mobilization Directorate announced in March 2015 that for health reasons, only 76% of draftees called up during the spring 2015 draft campaign were fit for military service (2015)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP2.16% of GDP (2016 est.)
2.07% of GDP (2015)
1.94% of GDP (2014)
1.9% of GDP (2013)
1.89% of GDP (2012)
5.01% of GDP (2015)
4.17% of GDP (2014)
3.96% of GDP (2013)
3.75% of GDP (2012)
3.46% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

EstoniaRussia
Disputes - internationalRussia and Estonia in May 2005 signed a technical border agreement, but Russia in June 2005 recalled its signature after the Estonian parliament added to its domestic ratification act a historical preamble referencing the Soviet occupation and Estonia's pre-war borders under the 1920 Treaty of Tartu; Russia contends that the preamble allows Estonia to make territorial claims on Russia in the future, while Estonian officials deny that the preamble has any legal impact on the treaty text; Russia demands better treatment of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Estonia implements strict Schengen border rules with Russia
"Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with the 2004 Agreement, ending their centuries-long border disputes; the sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group, known in Japan as the ""Northern Territories"" and in Russia as the ""Southern Kurils,"" occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities; Russia's military support and subsequent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence in 2008 continue to sour relations with Georgia; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea; Norway and Russia signed a comprehensive maritime boundary agreement in 2010; various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia (Kareliya) and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union following World War II but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands; Russia and Estonia signed a technical border agreement in May 2005, but Russia recalled its signature in June 2005 after the Estonian parliament added to its domestic ratification act a historical preamble referencing the Soviet occupation and Estonia's pre-war borders under the 1920 Treaty of Tartu; Russia contends that the preamble allows Estonia to make territorial claims on Russia in the future, while Estonian officials deny that the preamble has any legal impact on the treaty text; Russia demands better treatment of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia and Latvia; Russia remains involved in the conflict in eastern Ukraine while also occupying Ukraine’s territory of Crimea
Lithuania and Russia committed to demarcating their boundary in 2006 in accordance with the land and maritime treaty ratified by Russia in May 2003 and by Lithuania in 1999; Lithuania operates a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals traveling from the Kaliningrad coastal exclave into Russia, while still conforming, as an EU member state with an EU external border, where strict Schengen border rules apply; preparations for the demarcation delimitation of land boundary with Ukraine have commenced; the dispute over the boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov is suspended due to the occupation of Crimea by Russia; Kazakhstan and Russia boundary delimitation was ratified on November 2005 and field demarcation should commence in 2007; Russian Duma has not yet ratified 1990 Bering Sea Maritime Boundary Agreement with the US; Denmark (Greenland) and Norway have made submissions to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) and Russia is collecting additional data to augment its 2001 CLCS submission
"
Illicit drugsgrowing producer of synthetic drugs; increasingly important transshipment zone for cannabis, cocaine, opiates, and synthetic drugs since joining the European Union and the Schengen Accord; potential money laundering related to organized crime and drug trafficking is a concern, as is possible use of the gambling sector to launder funds; major use of opiates and ecstasy
limited cultivation of illicit cannabis and opium poppy and producer of methamphetamine, mostly for domestic consumption; government has active illicit crop eradication program; used as transshipment point for Asian opiates, cannabis, and Latin American cocaine bound for growing domestic markets, to a lesser extent Western and Central Europe, and occasionally to the US; major source of heroin precursor chemicals; corruption and organized crime are key concerns; major consumer of opiates
Refugees and internally displaced personsstateless persons: 82,585 (2016); note - following independence in 1991, automatic citizenship was restricted to those who were Estonian citizens prior to the 1940 Soviet occupation and their descendants; thousands of ethnic Russians remained stateless when forced to choose between passing Estonian language and citizenship tests or applying for Russian citizenship; one reason for demurring on Estonian citizenship was to retain the right of visa-free travel to Russia; stateless residents can vote in local elections but not general elections; stateless parents who have been lawful residents of Estonia for at least five years can apply for citizenship for their children before they turn 15 years old
refugees (country of origin): 226,232 (Ukraine) (2016)
IDPs: 19,000 (armed conflict, human rights violations, generalized violence in North Caucasus, particularly Chechnya and North Ossetia) (2016)
stateless persons: 90,771 (2016); note - Russia's stateless population consists of Roma, Meskhetian Turks, and ex-Soviet citizens from the former republics; between 2003 and 2010 more than 600,000 stateless people were naturalized; most Meskhetian Turks, followers of Islam with origins in Georgia, fled or were evacuated from Uzbekistan after a 1989 pogrom and have lived in Russia for more than the required five-year residency period; they continue to be denied registration for citizenship and basic rights by local Krasnodar Krai authorities on the grounds that they are temporary illegal migrants

Source: CIA Factbook