The Republic of Lithuania is the southernmost of the Baltic States, situated on the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, bordered by Belarus, Latvia and Poland.
Following the break up of the Soviet Union Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, in March 1990. Lithuania is now a semi presidential republic, and joined NATO and the EU in 2004 and the euro zone in 2015.
Lithuania’s terrain is mainly lowland, with scattered lakes and central fertile plains separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits. Its population is fairly evenly distributed throughout the country, with greater densities in the southern cities of Vilnius and Kaunas, as well as the western port of Klaipeda. The capital, Vilnius, near the Belarus border, has Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.