Kingdom of Lithuania
Lietuvos Karalystė
Flag Kingdom of lithuania by soaringaven-d84gapx.png
AnthemTautiška giesmė
Lithuania 2010.png
– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union
(and largest city)
Official languages Lithuanian
Demonym Lithuanian
Government Unitary parliamentary monarchy
 -  King Frydrichas
 -  Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius
Legislature Seimas
Independence from Russia (1918)
 -  First mention of Lithuania 9 March 1009 
 -  Coronation of Mindaugas I 6 July 1253 
 -  Union with Poland 2 February 1386 
 -  Polish–Lithuanian
1 July 1569 
 -  Partitions of the Commonwealth 24 October 1795 
 -  Independence declared 16 February 1918 
 -  Joined the European Union 1 May 2004 
Currency Lithuanian litas (Lt)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .lt
Calling code +370

Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuva), officially the Kingdom of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Karalystė), is a country in Northern Europe, one 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 Germany to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 3 million as of 2013, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Lithuanians are a Baltic people. The official language, Lithuanian, and Latvian are the only two living languages 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 I, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, the old kingdom, was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were the territories of the Grand Duchy. 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 1772–95, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory.

As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918 declaring the establishment of a sovereign State of Lithuania. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union and then liberated in 1941. On 11 March 1990 Lithuania became the first of many Eastern European states to reintroduce democracy.

Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, a full member of the Schengen Agreement and NATO. It is also a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, and part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries. The United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "very high human development" country. Lithuania has been among the fastest growing economies in the European Union and is ranked 17th in the world in the Ease of Doing Business Index.

History Edit