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Estonia ,, officially the Republic of Estonia ,, is a [country] in [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 the [Russian Federation] (338.6 km). The territory of Estonia covers and is influenced by a [temperate seasonal climate] .

The [Estonians] are a [Finnic people] , and the [Estonian language] is closely related to [Finnish] . The modern name of Estonia is thought to originate from the [Roman] historian [Tacitus] , who in his book [Germania] (ca. 98 AD) described a people called the [Aestii] . Similarly, ancient [Scandinavia] n [sagas] refer to a land called Eistland , close to the [Danish] , [German] , [Dutch] , [Swedish] and [Norwegian] term Estland for the country. Early [Latin] and other ancient versions of the name are Estia and Hestia . Esthonia was a common alternate English spelling prior to independence.

Estonia is a [democratic] [parliamentary republic] and is divided into fifteen [counties] . The capital and largest city is [Tallinn] . With a population of only 1.34 million, Estonia is one of the least-populous members of the [European Union] . Estonia was a member of the [League of Nations] from 22 September 1921, has been a member of the [United Nations] since 17 September 1991, and of [NATO] since 29 March 2004, as well as the [European Union] since 1 May 2004. Estonia has also signed the [Kyoto protocol] .

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