The Republic of Karelia is situated in the North-West of Russia. In the West it borders on Finland, in the South - on Leningrad and Vologda regions, in the North and in the East the republican territory borders on Murmansk and Archangelsk regions. In the North-East the Republic is washed by the White Sea. The western border of Karelia coincides with the state border of Russia and Finland; the length of the border is 798 kilometers.
The area of the Republic is 180,500 sq kilometers (1% of the territory of the Russian Federation); the maximum distance from North to South is 660 km, from East to West – 424 km.
The climate of the Republic of Karelia is Atlantic-continental. The average perennial temperature of January is –8.0°C; of July +16.4°C. Average annual precipitation accounts for 500–700 mm.
The major part of the territory of Karelia is hilly plain with clear marks of glacier activity. Even today the land surface bears the remains of ancient mountains. Karelian landscape is often metaphorically called “rocky-lake-forest”, emphasizing the key elements of the terrain: unique combinations made of picturesque silhouettes of multiple lakes and rocky interfluves covered by green forest.
There are more than 61,000 lakes, about 27,000 rivers and 29 water reservoirs in Karelia. The total surface of lakes accounts for 18,800 sq km. 80% of Onego Lake and 40% of Ladoga Lake are within the territory of Karelia. Karelia is an enormous reservoir of clear fresh water.
54.5% of the territory is covered by forests, 23.3% – by water, 1.1% is agricultural land. The mineral resource base of the Republic of Karelia includes 777 proven deposits of 27 kinds of minerals with registered reserves such as: iron ore, titanium, vanadium, molybdenum, precious metals, diamonds, mica, building materials (granites, diabase, marble), ceramic raw materials (pegmatite, spar), carbonate ores, alkaline amphibole-asbestos.
Administrative and Territorial Structure of the Republic of Karelia
There are 127 municipal entities in the Republic, including 16 municipal districts, 2 city districts, 22 towns and 87 rural settlements. Petrozavodsk is the capital of the Republic with population of 263,6 thousand people
The Republic of Karelia is a subject of the Russian Federation belonging to the Far North regions. Extreme natural and climatic conditions have additional negative impact on the economy and social sphere, which leads to increased production costs and life sustenance.