Lithuania

Lithuania (i/ˌlɪθuːˈeɪniə/ or /ˌlɪθjuːˈeɪniə/; Lithuanian: Lietuva), officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika) is a country in Northern Europe, the largest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It borders Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and a Russian exclave (Kaliningrad Oblast) to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 3 million as of 2012, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. The Lithuanians are a Baltic people, and the official language, Lithuanian, is one of only two living languages (together with Latvian) in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.

For centuries, the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea was inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, who was crowned as King of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the first Lithuanian state, on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe: present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory.

In the aftermath of World War I, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the re-establishment of a sovereign state. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania.

On 11 March 1990, the year before the break-up of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence. Prior to the global financial crisis of 2007–2010, Lithuania had one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. Lithuania is a member of NATO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union. Lithuania is also a full member of the Schengen Agreement. The United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "Very High Human Development" country. In 2011, Lithuania hosted the European men's basketball championship, EuroBasket 2011, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Ministerial Council Meeting.

Read more about Lithuania:  Geography, Politics, Economy, Demographics

Other articles related to "lithuania":

Albrycht Stanisław Radziwiłł
... Chancellor from 1619, the Grand Chancellor of Lithuania and Starosta of Vilnius from 1623, was a member of the powerful Radziwiłł family, last of the Ołyka line, fourth to bear the name of Albert ... he was in charge of foreign policies and internal affairs of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as he held the posts Lesser Lithuanian Chancellor of Lithuania (since 1619), Grand Chancellor of Lithuania and Starosta (city ... Supporter of King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund III Vasa, he often stood in opposition to his son and successor, Władysław IV Waza on the ...
Lithuania - Culture - Sports
... The Lithuania national basketball team has had significant success in international basketball events ... Lithuania has produced a number of NBA players Arvydas Sabonis, Žydrūnas Ilgauskas, Šarūnas Marčiulionis, Darius Songaila, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Linas ... In 2011, Lithuania hosted the men's European Basketball Championship EuroBasket 2011 ...
1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Qualification (UEFA) - CLASS B - Group E
... Scotland 3 ... Czech Republic 2 ... Estonia 31 ... Lithuania 48 ... August 16, 1997 Lithuania 3–2 Estonia Lithuania ...
Duchy Of Samogitia
... had been the administrative unit of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania from 1422 (and from 1569, a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) ... The Grand Duke of Lithuania also held the title of Duke of Samogitia, although the actual ruler of the province, responsible to the Duke was known as the General Elder (Seniūnas) of Samogitia ... The Duchy was located in the western part of the present Republic of Lithuania ...
Euro Basket 1939 - Results
... The winning team was Lithuania ... In retrospect, the most important match was Lithuania vs Latvia in the first round ... Lithuania won by 1 point, and this was the eventual winning margin of the championship ...