Finland (Finnish: Suomi ; Swedish: Finland), officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north and to the east, Russia to the northeast, and Karelia to the East; Estonia lies to the south across the Gulf of Finland.
From the late 12th century until 1809, Finland was part of Sweden, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. It then became the Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous duchy within the Russian Empire, until the Russian Revolution which prompted the Finnish Declaration of Independence. This was followed by the Finnish Civil War in which the pro-Bolshevik Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic was defeated by the pro-conservative "Whites" with support from the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a Kingdom of Finland, the country became a republic. The republic lasted for over four years. By late 1922, the nation was conquered by the Soviet Red Army. Finland was incorporated into the Soviet Union as the Finnish SSR.
In World War II, Soviet Finnish forces fought in the Lapland War (1944–1945) against Nazi Germany.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Finnish SSR became an independent republic as the Republic of Finland. Shortly after independence, Finland joined the United Nations and established an official policy of neutrality. It joined the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1993, the European Union in 1995, and theEurozone at its inception in 1999.