Geography of Estonia
, between 57.3 and 59.5 latitude
and 21.5 and 28.1 longitude
lies on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea
on the level northwestern part of the rising east European platform. It borders the Gulf of Finland
, between Latvia
. Average elevation reaches only 50m (160 ft.).
The climate resembles that of New England, maritime, wet, with moderate winters and cool summers. Oil shale and limestone deposits, along with forests which cover 47% of the land, play key economic roles in this generally resource-poor country. Estonia boasts over 1,500 lakes, numerous bogs, and 3,794 kilometers of coastline marked by numerous bays, straits, and inlets. Tallinn's Muuga port offers one of Europe's finest warm-water harbor facilities.
Estonia's strategic location has precipitated many wars that were fought on its territory between other rival powers at its expense. In 1944, under Soviet occupation, the Jaanilinn and Petseri regions were annexed to Russian SFSR territory. The legal status of these territories, the border question, remains unsettled between Republic of Estonia and Russian Federation, successor of Soviet Union.