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The most prominent of Russia's bodies of fresh water is Lake Baikal, the world's deepest and most capacious freshwater lake.Lake Baikal alone contains over one fifth of the world's liquid fresh surface water.
With access to three of the world's oceans -—the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific—- Russian fishing fleets are a major contributor to the economy.Russia has the world's largest forest reserves, which supply lumber, pulp and paper, and raw material for woodworking industries.Formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources.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.Of its 100,000 rivers, the Volga River is the most famous—not only because it is the longest river in Europe but also because of its major role in Russian history.It is also close to the United States (the state of Alaska), Sweden, and Japan across relatively small stretches of water (the Bering Strait, the Baltic Sea, and La Pérouse Strait, respectively).
Russia has an extensive coastline of over 23,000 miles (37,000 kilometers) along the Arctic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Baltic, Black and Caspian seas.
In addition, Russia's mountain ranges, predominantly to the south and the east, block moderating temperatures from the Indian and Pacific Oceans, but European Russia and northern Siberia lack such topographic protection from the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans.
In much of the territory there are only two distinct seasons - winter and summer—spring and autumn are usually brief periods of change between extremely low and extremely high temperatures.
Russia has a largely continental climate because of its sheer size and compact configuration.
Most of its land is more than 250 miles (400km) from the sea, and the center is 2386 miles (3840km) from the sea.
Moscow is the capital and the country's economic, financial, educational, and transportation center.