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Lithuania is a European nation that regained its independence in 1991, after more than 50 years of forced annexation to the Soviet Union.


It had been independent from 1918 to 1940, when the Soviet Union occupied it and made it one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union.

A Short Background

Independent between the two World Wars, Lithuania was annexed by the USSR in 1940. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but this proclamation was not generally recognized until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow).

The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently has restructured its economy for eventual integration into Western European institutions.


Lithuania is located at the western end of the East European Plain, on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It borders Latvia to the north (576-km border), Belarus to the East and South (660 km), and to the Southwest Poland (103 km) and the Russian Federation (Kaliningrad district - 273-km). Lithuania is the biggest of the three Baltic States.

The geographical centre of Europe (54°51' north and 25°19' east) lies in Lithuania, 20 kilometres north of Vilnius.

Lithuania consists predominantly of gently rolling plains (55% of the total land area) and extensive forests (30.3% of the country). Lithuania is more forested than Great Britain, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Latvia and Belarus. The average height above sea level is 99 meters, with the highest point being Juozapine Hill (293.6) in Southeast Lithuania. There are 758 rivers and streams longer than ten kilometres. The longest river is the Nemunas at 937 km in length (475 km through Lithuania). The country boasts more than 2800 lakes covering 1.5% of the country's area.

Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea,
between Latvia and Russia
Geographic coordinates: 56 00 N, 24 00 E
Population: 3.496.000 (83% ethnic Lithuanians; 6.7% of Polish origin; 6.3% of Russian
 origin). Approximately 1 million Lithuanians live overseas
(as a result of history).
Languages: Lithuanian (official), Polish, Russian
Religions: Roman Catholic (primarily), Lutheran, Russian Orthodox,
Protestant, Evangelical Christian Baptist, Muslim, Jewish
Currency: litas (LTL)
Currency code: LTL
Exchange rates: 1 EURO to Lithuanian Litas: 3,453 (April 2004)


 Action 5.1 activity 9 “Support for quality and innovation of the Program Youth.”
Project no: 5.1/R1/2003/06 Made by Hienet working Teams in cooperation with T.E.S.