Estonia ( Estonian Eesti ), is a country in Northern Europe and the northernmost of the Baltic. It is bordered to the south by Latvia, on the east by Russia, and north and west by the Baltic Sea. About the Gulf of Finland across the existence of close relations with Finland and historically there are many cultural ties to Germany.
The independent state since 1991, is a member of the United Nations, since 2004 the EU. Estonia is a member of the Council of Europe, of NATO and the OSCE since 2010 and the OECD.
Today Estonia is made up of the former, from 1710 to 1918 related to the Russian Empire, Baltic Province Governorate of Estonia and the northern part of Livonia, which also includes the island of Saaremaa (Osel) belonged. With the Teutonic Order had come into the country had vassals in 1252 for the first time together to an autonomous state administration, which was confirmed by the Danish and 1346 North Estonia. After the end of the reign of the Order in 1561 took the Hanseatic towns and the true knights in the country, the public self-management tasks. These state privileges, a kind of autonomous status were confirmed by the Swedish upper class and remained even after the Russian conquest of Estonia in the Great Northern War (1710) unaffected.