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Lithuania (the Republic of Lithuania) is one of 3 Baltic states along the east shore of the Baltic Sea. It is bordered by Latvia (north), Belarus (east),Poland (south) and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad (west).
People settled 12,000 years ago evolving into various Baltic tribes which were united in 1253 by the first King. The kingdom expanded as a Grand Duchy, absorbing Slavic Kievan Rus. By 1385 Lithuania was one of the largest countries in Europe, however at the end of the 15th century it was forced to seek a close alliance with Poland due to the power of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Losses in wars with Sweden and Russia eventually led to partition by 1795 and it became part of the Russian Empire, forming the region of Northwestern Krai (with Belarus). The Kaunas Fortress was built from 1882 to 1915 to defend against Germany.
In 1918 the Council of Lithuania declared independence. Vilnius was seized by Poland in 1920 and, in 1940, the country was occupied first by the Soviet Union, then by the Nazis. It was reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944 who established the Lithuanian SSR, deporting dissidents. In 1990 Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence although the Russians attempted to suppress secession. It has now transitioned to a free market economy, joining the EU in 2004.
Lithuania lies at the edge of North European Plain. Flattened by glaciers of the last ice age it comprises shallow lowlands and highlands with maximum elevation at 294m in the east. Lithuania is the site of the geographic centre of Europe.
Onshore oil production has risen since oil came onstream in 1968, climbing to a sharp peak in 2001. Output comes from a series of small fields in the coastal part of the Baltic Basin. Although the country has limited prospects onshore Globalshift believes some growth is possible as new technologies are applied.
Offshore output from the Baltic Sea may also start from reservoirs similar to those recognised in Kaliningrad and Poland. Lithuania has no gas production, importing most of its gas for both residential and industrial use from Russia. It started to import LNG in 2014.
It has potential shale gas reserves along the Baltic Shelf which may be produced in the 2020s.
LITHUANIA - Map and National Flag
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Population: 3.4 million
Lithuania is a parliamentary republic with some attributes of a semi-presidential system. The head of state is the President, elected for a 5-year term with a largely ceremonial role. The President appoints the Prime Minister and the rest of the cabinet. The unicameral Lithuanian parliament is called the Seimas. It has 141 members who are elected to 4-year terms.
Lithuania became a member of the EU in 2004 and adopted the euro in 2015.
The Ministry of Energy runs policy on fuel, electricity, thermo-energy production and supply for the Lithuanian economy.
Klaipėdos Nafta, founded in 1994, operates the Klaipėda Oil Terminal It participates in the Odessa–Brody–Płock pipeline project and is developing the Lithuanian LNG terminal.
Church at night