Russia, officially known as the Russian Federation, is the largest country in the world and is located in Eastern Europe extending all the way to Northern Asia. In addition to being the largest country in the world Russia spans 9 time zones and is the 9th most populous country in the world with an approximate population of 142 million. The capital city is Moscow and the official language is Russian.
Russia is a vast and diverse country. Since the collapse of communism Russia has emerged as a political and economic powerhouse moving from a globally-isolated centrally-planned economy to a market-based, globally-integrated one. The country has vast reserves of oil, natural gas, coal and precious metals. In 2009 Russia was the world’s largest exporter of natural gas, the second largest exporter of oil and the third largest exporter of steel and aluminum. These vast natural reserves and an increase in agricultural exports have contributed to ensuring Russia currently has the twelfth largest economy in the world.
Russia is a member of the UN Security Council, G8 and G20, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and is the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.