Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the southernmost of the three Baltic states. Situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to the southwest.
Across the Baltic Sea to the west lies Sweden and Denmark.
The largest and most populous of the Baltic states, it is larger than Belgium, Denmark, Latvia, the Netherlands, or Switzerland. Its capital and largest city is Vilnius.
During Soviet rule, Lithuanians relied on Catholic tradition and memories of independence to preserve their national identity, a skill mastered through centuries of foreign domination.
Not much more than a decade after it regained its independence during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, Lithuania joined the EU in 2004.