Lithuania, republic in northeastern Europe, bounded on the north by Latvia; on the east and south by Belarus; on the southeast by Poland and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast; and on the west by the Baltic Sea. With Latvia and Estonia, Lithuania is one of the Baltic states. Its name in Lithuanian is Lietuvos Respublika (Republic of Lithuania). Vilnius, the capital and largest city of Lithuania, is located in the southeastern portion of the country.
Lithuania is situated on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Ethnic Lithuanians constitute a majority of the country's population. Lithuania was an independent republic from 1918 until 1940, when it was annexed by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). In 1991 Lithuania regained its independence, and in 1992 it adopted a new constitution and held its first post-Soviet democratic elections. Since the early 1990s Lithuanians have been working to establish a free-market economy in place of the centralized economy of the Soviet period.
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