Estonia is a country in North-Eastern Europe. It borders Russia and
Latvia and has an extensive coastline on the Baltic Sea. Estonia
has a population of approximately 1.3 million people. The capital
of Estonia is Tallinn, with a population of approximately 400,000.
Estonia's territory covers 45 227 square km. Estonia is often
referred to as "The Land of Forests" as over 50% of the
country is forested.
The official language of Estonia is Estonian, which belongs to the
Finno-Ugric group of languages and is closely related to Finnish.
The country also has a sizeable Russian-speaking minority. The
currency of Estonia is the Euro. The main religion in Estonia is
the Lutheran Church.
Throughout history Estonia was part of larger empires but the
Republic of Estonia gained independence on 24 February 1918.
However in 1940 Estonia was occupied by Soviet forces and
became part of the Soviet Union. Ireland did not recognise this
occupation. Estonia regained its independence on 20 August 1991.
Estonia became a member of the United Nations on 17 September
1991. Estonia joined the European Union on 1
May 2004 during the Irish EU Presidency. Estonia has been a
NATO member since 29 March 2004.
The President of Estonia is Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves. President
Ilves paid a State Visit to Ireland in April 2008. The Prime
Minister of Estonia is Mr. Andrus Ansip.