With an area of 17,075,200 km ², Russia is the largest country in the world, almost twice higher than the territory of the two countries in scope, Canada. Despite its extent, Russia is only the eighth country in terms of number of inhabitants. Russia shares land borders with the following countries (counter-clockwise from northwest to southeast): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Korea North.
More than a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia still trying to build a functioning market economy and achieve higher economic growth.
The economic development of the country has been extremely uneven: the Moscow region contributing a third of GDP, while the region is concentrated in only a tenth of the population.
Russia remains deeply dependent on exports of raw materials, especially oil, gas, metals and timber, which provides 80% of exports, leaving the country vulnerable to changes in world market prices. In recent years, greatly increased domestic demand for consumer goods, about 12% annually from 2000 to 2005, which demonstrates the strengthening of the internal market.
Gross domestic product approaching € 1.200 billion in 2004, making Russia’s economy to the new economy in the world and fifth in Europe. If the annual rate of growth continues as now, Russia’s economy is expected to reach the second position in Europe, after Germany, in a few years.