1. Show on the map the states with access to the Baltic Sea. Which of them are Russia’s neighbors on land, at sea?
The states that have access to the Baltic Sea are often called the Baltic States. They are easier to remember, if you list from the north clockwise, looking at the political map of Europe. They are Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Germany, Denmark. Some of these countries are both Russia’s neighbors both by sea and by land. We have a common land border only with Latvia.
2. Give a description of the geographical location of the North-West region. What are its features?
The geographic location of the North-West region is determined not only by access to the Baltic Sea, but also by close ties with the European North and the Center. The Pskov region after the collapse of the USSR turned out to be borderline and acquired at once three foreign neighbors – Estonia, Latvia, Belarus. In Russia there is only one such subject of the Federation – the Republic of Altai, bordering with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and in a short space with China.
3. What features of the nature of the North-West made it possible for people to engage in long-term forestry, fishing and trade?
The North-West is in the taiga zone, rich in forests, furs and berries. The southern part of the region belongs to the zone of mixed and deciduous forests. Note the map of the prevailing landscapes in the atlas. The access to the Baltic Sea and large lakes allowed to develop both fishing and trade. In addition, the ancient path “from the Varangians to the Greeks” passed through the territory of the North-West.
4. How does... the Baltic Sea affect the economic specialization of the North-West region?
Due to the access to the Baltic Sea, the North-West region specializes in shipbuilding and fishing industry. St. Petersburg is a universal seaport with a turnover of 11 million tons, the largest in the Baltic from Russian ports and passenger transportation. Two other ports – Vyborg and Kaliningrad – are small in terms of cargo turnover, but Kaliningrad is an ice-free port, which allows navigation throughout the year.
Transport of the North-West is actively developing. In 2005, 1 billion rubles were allocated. for the construction of the Ust-Luga Commercial Sea Port in the Luga Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Together with the port, the city is being built, the infrastructure and the production area are developing. The port of Ust-Luga is considered as a promising growth pole not only for transshipment of goods, but also for the production of industrial products and services. A free economic zone is planned near Ust-Luga.
The first stage of the “Baltic Ferry” is planned to be put into operation – the motor-railway ferry crossing on the route Ust-Lyra – Baltiysk – Germany. The second stage with the organization of the railway crossing was built in 2006.
The oil port in Primorsk is constantly increasing the volume of cargo being passed. It is the final point of the Baltic Pipeline System, which is focused on the export of Russian oil from the Timan-Pechora region, Western Siberia, the Urals and the Volga region, and oil transit from the CIS countries. The management of the world’s largest port, Rotterdam, suggested that Russian companies consider building their terminals in this port for direct delivery of oil from Primorsk.