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With access to three of the world's oceans -—the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific—- Russian fishing fleets are a major contributor to the economy.With an area of 6,592,800 square miles (17,075,400 square kilometers), Russia is by far the largest country in the world, covering almost twice the total area of the next-largest country, Canada, and has significant mineral and energy resources.The lowest point is the Caspian Sea, at 28 meters below sea level.Russia has a largely continental climate because of its sheer size and compact configuration.

As with its topography, its climates, vegetation, and soils span vast distances.Lake Baikal alone contains over one fifth of the world's liquid fresh surface water.Truly unique on Earth, Baikal is home to more than 1700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world.Major islands and archipelagos include Novaya Zemlya, the Franz Josef Land, the New Siberian Islands, Wrangel Island, the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin.The Diomede Islands (one controlled by Russia, the other by the United States) are just under two miles (three kilometers) apart, and Kunashir Island (controlled by Russia but claimed by Japan) is about 20 kilometers (12 mi) from Hokkaido.