Estonia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia (338.6 km). Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden in the west and Finland in the north. The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands and islets in the Baltic Sea, covering 45,339 km2 of land, and is influenced by a humid continental climate.
Estonia is a democratic parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties, with its capital and largest city being Tallinn. With a population of 1.3 million, it is one of the least-populous member states of the European Union, Eurozone, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Schengen Area.
The country is ranked 8th in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, and the 4th freest economy in Europe. Estonia produces about 75% of its consumed electricity. In 2011 about 85% of it was generated with locally mined oil shale. Alternative energy sources such as wood, peat, and biomass make up approximately 9% of primary energy production. Renewable wind energy was about 6% of total consumption in 2009. Estonia imports petroleum products from western Europe and Russia. Oil shale energy, telecommunications, textiles, chemical products, banking, services, food and fishing, timber, shipbuilding, electronics, and transportation are key sectors of the economy.
The Ministry of Rural Affairs develops national measures and development plans and coordinates their implementation in the field of rural policy, agricultural policy, fishing industry of the fisheries policy and trade policy of agricultural products, also in the field of food safety, animal health and protection, agricultural research and development.