Europe :: Lithuania

Introduction ::Lithuania

    Lithuanian lands were united under MINDAUGAS in 1236; over the next century, through alliances and conquest, Lithuania extended its territory to include most of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. By the end of the 14th century Lithuania was the largest state in Europe. An alliance with Poland in 1386 led the two countries into a union through the person of a common ruler. In 1569, Lithuania and Poland formally united into a single dual state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This entity survived until 1795 when its remnants were partitioned by surrounding countries. Lithuania regained its independence following World War I but was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but Moscow did not recognize this proclamation until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow). The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions; it joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

Geography ::Lithuania

People and Society ::Lithuania

Government ::Lithuania

    conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania
    conventional short form: Lithuania
    local long form: Lietuvos Respublika
    local short form: Lietuva
    former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
    parliamentary democracy
    name: Vilnius
    geographic coordinates: 54 41 N, 25 19 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    10 counties (apskritys, singular - apskritis); Alytaus, Kauno, Klaipedos, Marijampoles, Panevezio, Siauliu, Taurages, Telsiu, Utenos, Vilniaus
    11 March 1990 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union); notable earlier dates: 6 July 1253 (coronation of MINDAUGAS, traditional founding date), 1 July 1569 (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth created)
    Independence Day, 16 February (1918); note - 16 February 1918 was the date Lithuania declared its independence from Soviet Russia and established its statehood; 11 March 1990 was the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union
    adopted 25 October 1992; last amended 25 April 2006
    civil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the constitutional court
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE (since 12 July 2009)
    head of government: Prime Minister Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS (since 22 November 2012)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister and approval of the Parliament
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 May 2009 (next to be held in May 2014); prime minister appointed by the president on the approval of the Parliament
    election results: Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE elected president; percent of vote - Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE 69.1%, Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS 11.8%, Valentinas MAZURONIS 6.2%, others 12.9%; Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS approved by Parliament 90-40
    unicameral Parliament or Seimas (141 seats; 71 members elected in single-member districts, 70 elected by proportional representation; members to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held on 14 and 28 October 2012 (next to be held in October 2016)
    election results: percent of vote by party (proportional vote) - DP 19.8%, LSDP 18.4%, TS-LKD 15.1%, LS 8.6%, DK 8%, TT 7.3%, LLRA 5.8%, LVZS 3.9%, other parties 13.1%; seats by party - LSDP 38, TS-LKD 33, DP 29, TT 11, LS 10, LLRA 8, DK 7, unaffiliated 4, vacant 1
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 37 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Seimas; judges serve 5-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court judges selected by Seimas from among nominations by the president, by the Seimas chairperson, and Supreme Court chairperson; judges serve 9-year, nonrenewable terms; note - one-third of court judges reconstituted every 3 years
    subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; district and local courts
    Christian Party or KP [Gediminas VAGNORIUS]
    Civil Democracy Party or PDP [Algimantas MATULEVICIUS]
    Democratic Labor and Unity Party or DDVP [Kristina BRAZAUSKIENE]
    Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles or LLRA [Valdemar TOMASEVSKI]
    Emigrants Party or EP [Juozas MURAUSKAS]
    Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats or TS-LKD [Andrius KUBILIUS]
    Labor Party or DP [Viktor USPASKICH]
    Liberal and Center Union or LCS [Arturas MELIANAS]
    Liberal Movement or LS or LRLS [Eligijus MASIULIS]
    Lithuanian People's Party or LLP [Kazimiera PRUNSKIENE]
    Lithuanian People's Party or LZP [Joana SIMANAUSKIENE]
    Lithuanian Russian Union or LRS [Sergejus DMITRIJEVAS]
    Lithuanian Social Democratic Party or LSDP [Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS]
    Nationalist Union or TS [Gintaras SONGAILA]
    Order and Justice Party or TT [Rolandas PAKSAS]
    Peasant and Greens Union or LVZS [Ramunas KARBAUSKIS]
    Republican Party or RP [Valdemaras VALKIUNAS]
    Russian Alliance or RA [Tamara LOCHANKINA]
    Socialist People's Front or SLF [Algirdas PALECKIS]
    Way of Courage or DK [Jonas VARKALA]
    YES-Homeland Revival and Perspective or YES Union or TAIP Union or TAIP [Arturas ZUOKAS]
    Young Lithuania Party or PJL [Stanislovas BUSKEVICIUS]
    Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Zygimantas PAVILIONIS
    chancery: 2622 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 234-5860
    FAX: [1] (202) 328-0466
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah MCCARTHY
    embassy: Akmenu gatve 6, Vilnius, LT-03106
    mailing address: American Embassy, Akmenu Gatve 6, Vilnius LT-03106
    telephone: [370] (5) 266-5500
    FAX: [370] (5) 266-5510
    three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), green, and red; yellow symbolizes golden fields, as well as the sun, light, and goodness; green represents the forests of the countryside, in addition to nature, freedom, and hope; red stands for courage and the blood spilled in defense of the homeland
    mounted knight known as Vytis (the Chaser)
    name: "Tautiska giesme" (The National Song)

    lyrics/music: Vincas KUDIRKA
    note: adopted 1918, restored 1990; the anthem was written in 1898 while Lithuania was a part of Russia; it was banned during the Soviet occupation from 1940 to 1990

Economy ::Lithuania

    Lithuania gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. Despite its EU accession, Lithuania's trade with its Central and Eastern European neighbors, and Russia in particular, accounts for a significant share of total trade. Foreign investment and business support have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy. Lithuania's economy grew on average 8% per year for the four years prior to 2008 driven by exports and domestic demand. Lithuania''s GDP plunged nearly 15% in 2009. The three former Soviet Baltic republics were among the hardest hit by the 2008-09 financial crisis. The government''s efforts to attract foreign investment, to develop export markets, and to pursue broad economic reforms has been key to Lithuania''s quick recovery from a deep recession, making Lithuania one of the fastest growing economies in the EU. Lithuania is committed to meeting the Maastricht criteria to join the euro zone, which the government expects to achieve by 2015. Under the Conservative Party''s leadership, Lithuania raised the monthly minimum wage in 2012 nearly 25% over 2011. Despite government efforts, unemployment - at 13.2% in 2012 - remains high.
    $66.08 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    $63.78 billion (2011 est.)
    $60.24 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $42.16 billion (2012 est.)
    3.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    5.9% (2011 est.)
    1.5% (2010 est.)
    $22,000 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    $21,000 (2011 est.)
    $18,300 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    15.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    19% of GDP (2011 est.)
    19.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 64.2%
    government consumption: 17.7%
    investment in fixed capital: 16.7%
    investment in inventories: 0.3%
    exports of goods and services: 83.9%
    imports of goods and services: -83.2%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 3.3%
    industry: 28.4%
    services: 68.4% (2012 est.)
    grain, potatoes, sugar beets, flax, vegetables; beef, milk, eggs; fish
    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 jewelry
    3.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    1.474 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    agriculture: 7.9%
    industry: 19.6%
    services: 72.5% (2012 est.)
    14.9% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    15.4% (2011 est.)
    4% (2008)
    lowest 10%: 2.6%
    highest 10%: 29.1% (2008)
    35.5 (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    34 (1999)
    revenues: $13.06 billion
    expenditures: $14.48 billion (2012 est.)
    31% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    -3.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    38.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    39.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: official data; data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities, debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions
    calendar year
    3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    4.1% (2011 est.)
    3% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    2.06% (31 December 2009 est.)
    5.8% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    5.78% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $13.64 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    $11.72 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $19.32 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    $18.74 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $22.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    $22.84 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $4.075 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    $5.661 billion (31 December 2010)
    $4.477 billion (31 December 2009)
    -$1.053 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    -$670 million (2011 est.)
    $29.64 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    $28.1 billion (2011 est.)
    mineral products, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles , foodstuffs, plastics
    Russia 19%, Latvia 11%, Estonia 7.9%, Germany 7.9%, UK 6.4%, Poland 6.1%, Netherlands 5.9%, Belarus 4.5% (2012)
    $32.01 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 64
    $30.2 billion (2011 est.)
    mineral products, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, chemicals, textiles and clothing, metals
    Russia 32.5%, Germany 9.8%, Poland 9.8%, Latvia 6.1%, Netherlands 5.5% (2012)
    $10.23 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    $8.21 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $32.84 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    $31.01 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $15.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    $14.81 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $2.581 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    $2.281 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    litai (LTL) per US dollar -
    2.686 (2012 est.)
    2.481 (2011 est.)
    2.6063 (2010 est.)
    2.4787 (2009)
    2.3251 (2008)

Energy ::Lithuania

Communications ::Lithuania

    723,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    5.004 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    general assessment: adequate; being modernized to provide improved international capability and better residential access
    domestic: rapid expansion of mobile-cellular services has resulted in a steady decline in the number of fixed-line connections; mobile-cellular teledensity stands at about 140 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 370; major international connections to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway by submarine cable for further transmission by satellite; landline connections to Latvia and Poland (2010)
    public broadcaster operates 3 channels with the third channel - a satellite channel - introduced in 2007; various privately owned commercial TV broadcasters operate national and multiple regional channels; many privately owned local TV stations; multi-channel cable and satellite TV services available; publicly owned broadcaster operates 3 radio networks; many privately owned commercial broadcasters, many with repeater stations in various regions throughout the country (2007)
    1.205 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    1.964 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 75

Transportation ::Lithuania

    61 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    total: 22
    over 3,047 m: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m: 9 (2013)
    total: 39
    over 3,047 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m:
    36 (2013)
    gas 1,921 km; refined products 121 km (2013)
    total: 1,767 km
    country comparison to the world: 76
    broad gauge: 1,745 km 1.524-m gauge (122 km electrified)
    standard gauge: 22 km 1.435-m gauge (2011)
    total: 82,131 km
    country comparison to the world: 58
    paved: 72,048 km (includes 309 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 10,083 km (2010)
    441 km (navigable year round) (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    total: 38
    country comparison to the world: 76
    by type: cargo 20, container 1, passenger/cargo 6, refrigerated cargo 9, roll on/roll off 2
    foreign-owned: 8 (Denmark 8)
    registered in other countries: 22 (Antigua and Barbuda 3, Belize 1, Comoros 1, Cook Islands 1, Norway 1, Panama 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9, unknown 3) (2010)
    oil terminals: Butinge oil terminal

Military ::Lithuania

Transnational Issues ::Lithuania

    Lithuania and Russia committed to demarcating their boundary in 2006 in accordance with the land and maritime treaty ratified by Russia in May 2003 and by Lithuania in 1999; Lithuania operates a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals traveling from the Kaliningrad coastal exclave into Russia, while still conforming, as a EU member state having an external border with a non-EU member, to strict Schengen border rules; boundary demarcated with Latvia and Lithuania; as of January 2007, ground demarcation of the boundary with Belarus was complete and mapped with final ratification documents in preparation
    stateless persons: 4,130 (2012)
    transshipment and destination point for cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and opiates from Southwest Asia, Latin America, Western Europe, and neighboring Baltic countries; growing production of high-quality amphetamines, but limited production of cannabis, methamphetamines; susceptible to money laundering despite changes to banking legislation