Transitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers
Lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil. The fertile central plains are separated by hilly uplands that are ancient glacial deposits.
Juozapines/Kalnas 292 m
Independence Day, 16 February (1918); note - 16 February 1918 is the date of independence from German, Austrian, Prussian, and Russian occupation, 11 March 1990 is the date of independence from the Soviet Union
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).
11 March 1990 (independence declared from Soviet Union); 6 September 1991 (Soviet Union recognizes Lithuania's independence)
adopted 25 October 1992
The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently has restructured its economy for eventual integration into Western European institutions.
As Lithuania is a member of the European Union, citizens from these countries do not need a visa and can enter Lithuania with a valid passport or a valid identity card. Lithuania is also a member of the Schengen Agreement, however it remains not yet implemented by the country.
Hitchhiking in Lithuania is generally good. Get to the outskirts of the city, but before cars speed up to the highway speeds. The middle letter on the licence plates of the three letter code usually corresponds with the city of registration.
The official language is Lithuanian, one of the few remaining examples of the Baltic language family, and thus something of a challenge to the English-speaking tourist. Popular second languages are Polish and Russian, and English may be spoken by the more educated (and those in the tourism industry) around major centres.
The rest of this article is an import from the CIA World Factbook 2002. It's a starting point for creating a real Wikitravel country article according to our country article template. Please plunge forward and integrate it into the article above.
contamination of soil and groundwater with petroleum products and chemicals at military bases
Environment - international agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
3,601,138 (July 2002 est.)
noun: Lithuanian(s) adjective: Lithuanian
Lithuanian 80.6%, Russian 8.7%, Polish 7%, Belarusian 1.6%, other 2.1%
Roman Catholic (primarily), Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical Christian Baptist, Muslim, Jewish
conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania conventional short form: Lithuania local short form: Lietuva former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic local long form: Lietuvos Respublika
based on civil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the constitutional court
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Vygaudas USACKAS consulate(s) general: Chicago and New York FAX:  (202) 328-0466 telephone:  (202) 234-5860 chancery: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador John F. TEFFT embassy: 2600 Akmenu 6, Vilnius mailing address: American Embassy, Vilnius, PSC 78, Box V, APO AE 09723 telephone:  (2) 665-500 FAX:  (2) 665-510
three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red
Economy - overview
Lithuania, the Baltic state that has conducted the most trade with Russia, has been slowly rebounding from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. High unemployment, still 12% in 2002, and weak consumption have held back recovery. Trade has been increasingly oriented toward the West. Lithuania has gained membership in the World Trade Organization and has moved ahead with plans to join the EU. Privatization of the large, state-owned utilities, particularly in the energy sector, is underway. Overall, more than 80% of enterprises have been privatized. The US government and business aid have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy.
metal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, television sets, refrigerators and freezers, petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture making, textiles, food processing, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, electronic components, computers, amber
Agriculture - products
grain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish
Exports - commodities
mineral products 23%, textiles and clothing 16%, machinery and equipment 11%, chemicals 6%, wood and wood products 5%, foodstuffs 5% (2001)
Imports - commodities
mineral products 21%, machinery and equipment 17%, transport equipment 11%, chemicals 9%, textiles and clothing 9%, metals 5% (2001)
litai per US dollar - 3.4946 (15 October 2002), 3.4794 (1 July 2002), 4.000 (fixed rate between 1 May 1994 and 1 February 2002); note - litai is the plural of litas; effective 1 February 2002 the litas was pegged to the euro at a rate of 3.4528
Telephones - main lines in use
1.142 million (2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular
general assessment: inadequate, but is being modernized to provide an improved international capability and better residential access domestic: a national, fiber-optic cable, interurban, trunk system is nearing completion; rural exchanges are being improved and expanded; mobile cellular systems are being installed; access to the Internet is available; still many unsatisfied telephone subscriber applications international: landline connections to Latvia and Poland; major international connections to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by submarine cable for further transmission by satellite
Radio broadcast stations
AM 29, FM 142, shortwave 1 (2001)
1.9 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations
27 note: Lithuania has approximately 27 broadcasting stations, but may have as many as 100 transmitters, including repeater stations (2001)
1.7 million (1997)
Internet country code
Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
total: 1,998 km broad gauge: 1,807 km 1.524-m gauge (122 km electrified) narrow gauge: 169 km 0.750-m gauge (2001) standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge
total: 44,000 km paved: 35,500 km unpaved: 8,500 km (2001)
600 km (perennially navigable)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 9 over 3,047 m: 2 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 under 914 m: 3 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 63 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 914 to 1,523 m: 5 under 914 m: 55 (2002)
Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Force, National Volunteer Defense Forces (SKAT)
Disputes - international
the Russian Duma has not ratified 1997 boundary treaty; the Latvian Parliament has not ratified its 1998 maritime boundary treaty with Lithuania, primarily due to concerns over oil exploration rights
transshipment point for opiates and other illicit drugs from Southwest Asia, Latin America, and Western Europe to Western Europe and Scandinavia; limited production of methamphetamine and ecstasy; susceptible to money laundering