The Gulf of Finland (Finnish: Suomenlahti; Estonian: Soome laht; Russian: Финский залив, tr. Finskiy zaliv; IPA: [ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif]; Swedish: Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland (to the north) and Estonia (to the south) all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn. The eastern parts of the Gulf of Finland belong to Russia, and some of Russia's most important oil harbours are located farthest in, near Saint Petersburg (including Primorsk). As the seaway to Saint Petersburg, the Gulf of Finland has been and continues to be of considerable strategic importance to Russia. Some of the environmental problems affecting the Baltic Sea are at their most pronounced in the shallow gulf.
Helsinki ( listen (help·info); Swedish: Helsingfors, listen (help·info)) is the capital and largest city of Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. Helsinki has a population of 605,523 (28 February 2013), an urban population of 1,159,211 (31 December 2011) and a metropolitan population of 1,361,506, making it by far the most populous municipality and urban area in Finland. Helsinki is located some 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 kilometres (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 300 kilometres (190 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Helsinki has close historical connections with these three cities.
The Helsinki metropolitan area includes urban core of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and surrounding commuter towns. It is the world's northernmost metro area of over one million people, and the city is the northernmost capital of an EU member state.