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Coordinates: 55°N 24°E / 55°N 24°E / 55; 24 The Baltic states, also known as the Baltic countries, Baltic republics, Baltic nations or simply the Baltics
Baltics
(Estonian: Balti riigid, Baltimaad, Latvian: Baltijas valstis, Lithuanian: Baltijos valstybės), is a geopolitical term used for grouping the three sovereign countries in Northern Europe
Europe
on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The term is not used in the context of cultural areas, national identity or language. The three countries cooperate on a regional level in several intergovernmental organizations.[citation needed] All three countries are members of the European Union, NATO
NATO
and the Eurozone. They are classified as high-income economies by the World Bank and maintain high Human Development Index. Estonia
Estonia
and Latvia
Latvia
are also members of the OECD, while Lithuania
Lithuania
is a prospective candidate.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Northern Crusades 2.2 Baltic dominions of Swedish Empire 2.3 Baltic governates of Russian Empire 2.4 Newly independent countries East of the Baltic Sea 2.5 Soviet Occupation

3 Politics 4 Regional cooperation 5 Current leaders 6 Economies 7 Culture

7.1 Ethnic groups 7.2 Languages 7.3 Sports

8 Geography

8.1 Nature

9 Statistics

9.1 General statistics 9.2 Cities

10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

Etymology[edit] The term "Baltic" stems from the name of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
– a hydronym dating back to the 11th century ( Adam of Bremen
Adam of Bremen
mentioned Latin: Mare Balticum) and earlier. Although there are several theories about its origin, most ultimately trace it to Indo-European root *bhel meaning white, fair. This meaning is retained in modern Baltic languages, where baltas (in Lithuanian) and balts (in Latvian) mean "white".[1] However the modern names of the region and the sea, that originate from this root, were not used in either of the two languages prior to the 19th century.[2] Beginning in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and through the present day, the Baltic Sea appears on the maps described in Germanic languages
Germanic languages
as German: Ostsee, Danish: Østersøen, Dutch: Oostzee, Swedish: Östersjön, etc. In English "Ost" is "East", and in fact, the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
mostly lies to the east of Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. These names were historically also used to refer to Baltic Dominions of Swedish Empire (Swedish: Östersjöprovinserna) and Baltic governorates
Baltic governorates
of Russian Empire (Russian: Остзейские губернии, translit. Ostzejskie gubernii). Endre Bojtár (1999) argues that it was around the 1840s when the German gentry of the Governorate of Livonia
Governorate of Livonia
devised the term "Balts" to mean themselves, the German upper classes of Livonia, excluding the Latvian and Estonian lower classes. They spoke an exclusive dialect, baltisch-deutsch, legally spoken by them alone.[3][4] However the German philologist Georg Nesselmann in the middle of the 19th century substantiated the concept that Latvian, Lithuanian and Old Prussian belong to the same branch of the Indo-European languages, which he suggested to name as Baltic languages[5] It was at this time when "Baltic" also started to surpass "Ostsee" as the name for the region. Officially its Russian equivalent "Прибалтийский" was first used in 1859.[2] History[edit] Northern Crusades[edit] In the 13th century pagan and Eastern Orthodox Baltic and Finnic peoples in the region became a target of the Northern Crusades.[6][7] In the aftermath of the Livonian crusade, a crusader state officially named Terra Mariana, but also known as Livonia, was established in the territory of modern Latvia
Latvia
and Southern Estonia. It was divided into four autonomous bishoprics and lands of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword. After the Brothers of the Sword suffered defeat at the Battle of Saule, the remaining Brothers were integrated into the Teutonic Order as the autonomous Livonian Order. Northern Estonia
Estonia
initially became a Danish dominion, but it was purchased by the Teutonic Order in the mid-14th century. The majority of the crusaders and clergy were German and remained influential in Estonia
Estonia
and most of Latvia
Latvia
until the first half of the 20th century – Baltic Germans
Baltic Germans
formed the backbone of the local gentry, and German served both as a lingua franca and for record-keeping.[8] The Lithuanians
Lithuanians
were also targeted by the crusaders, however they were able to resist and formed the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Lithuania
some time before 1252. It allied with the Kingdom of Poland. After the Union of Krewo in 1385 created a dynastic union between the two countries, they became ever more closely integrated and finally merged into the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
in 1569. After victory in the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War, the Polish–Lithuanian union became a major political power in the region. Baltic dominions of Swedish Empire[edit] Main article: Dominium maris baltici

Swedish Empire
Swedish Empire
in the Baltic

In 1558 Livonia
Livonia
was attacked by the Tsardom of Russia
Tsardom of Russia
and the Livonian war broke out, lasting until 1583. The rulers of different regions within Livonia
Livonia
sought to ally with foreign powers, which resulted in Polish–Lithuanian, Swedish and Danish involvement. As a result, by 1561 the Livonian confederation had ceased to exist and its lands in modern Latvia
Latvia
and Southern Estonia
Estonia
became the Duchy of Courland
Courland
and Semigallia and the Duchy of Livonia, which were vassals to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Osel island came under Danish rule and Northern Estonia
Estonia
became the Swedish Duchy of Estonia. In the aftermath of later conflicts of the 17th century, much of the Duchy of Livonia
Livonia
and Osel also came under Swedish control as Swedish Livonia. These newly acquired Swedish territories, as well as Ingria and Kexholm (now the western part of the Leningrad Oblast
Leningrad Oblast
of Russia), became known as the Baltic Dominions. Parts of the Duchy of Livonia that remained in the Commonwealth became Inflanty Voivodeship, which contributed to the modern Latgale
Latgale
region of Eastern Latvia
Latvia
becoming culturally distinct from the rest of Latvia
Latvia
as the German nobility lost its influence and the region remained Catholic just like Poland-Lithuania, while the rest of Latvia
Latvia
(and also Estonia) became Lutheran. Baltic governates of Russian Empire[edit]

Territorial changes in 1709–1721. Note that Livonia
Livonia
and Estonia
Estonia
were lost by Sweden
Sweden
and annexed by Russia
Russia
in this period.

At the beginning of the 18th century the Swedish Empire
Swedish Empire
was attacked by a coalition of several European powers in the Great Northern War. Among these powers was Russia, seeking to restore its access to the Baltic Sea. During the course of the war it conquered all of the Swedish provinces on the Eastern Baltic coast. This acquisition was legalized by the Treaty of Nystad
Treaty of Nystad
in which the Baltic Dominions were ceded to Russia.[9] The treaty also granted the Baltic-German
Baltic-German
nobility within Estonia
Estonia
and Livonia
Livonia
the rights to self-government, maintaining their financial system, existing customs border, Lutheran
Lutheran
religion, and the German language; this special position in the Russian Empire was reconfirmed by all Russian Tsars from Peter the Great
Peter the Great
to Alexander II.[10] Initially these were two governorates named after the largest cities: Riga
Riga
and Reval (now Tallinn). After the Partitions of Poland which took place in the last quarter of the 18th century, the third Ostsee governorate was created, as the Courland Governorate
Courland Governorate
(presently a part of Latvia). This toponym stems from the Curonians, one of the Baltic[11] indigenous tribes. Following the annexation of Courland
Courland
the two other governates were renamed to the Governorate of Livland
Governorate of Livland
and the Governorate of Estland. In the late 19th century, nationalist sentiment grew in Estonia
Estonia
and in Latvia
Latvia
morphing into an aspiration to national statehood after the 1905 Russian Revolution. Newly independent countries East of the Baltic Sea[edit] After the First World War the term "Baltic states" came to refer to countries by the Baltic sea that had gained independence from Russia in its aftermath. As such it included not only former Baltic governorates, but also Latgale, Lithuania
Lithuania
and Finland.[12] As World War I came to a close, Lithuania
Lithuania
declared independence and Latvia formed a provisional government. Estonia
Estonia
had already obtained autonomy from tsarist Russia
Russia
in 1917, but was subsequently occupied by the German Empire; they fought an independence war against Soviet Russia and Baltic nobility
Baltic nobility
before gaining true independence from 1920 to 1939. Latvia
Latvia
and Lithuanians
Lithuanians
followed a similar process, until the Latvian War of Independence
Latvian War of Independence
and Lithuanian Wars of Independence
Lithuanian Wars of Independence
were extinguished in 1920. During the Interwar period
Interwar period
these countries were sometimes referred to as limitrophe states between the two World Wars, from the French, indicating their collectively forming a rim along Bolshevik Russia's, later the Soviet Union's, western border. They were also part of what Clemenceau considered a strategic cordon sanitaire, the entire territory from Finland
Finland
in the north to Romania in the south, standing between Western Europe
Europe
and potential Bolshevik territorial ambitions.[13][14] Prior to World War II
World War II
Estonia, Latvia
Latvia
and Lithuania
Lithuania
each experienced an authoritarian head of state who had come to power after a bloodless coup: Antanas Smetona
Antanas Smetona
in Lithuania
Lithuania
(December 1926), Konstantin Päts in Estonia
Estonia
(March 1934), and Kārlis Ulmanis
Kārlis Ulmanis
in Latvia
Latvia
(May 1934). Some note that the events in Lithuania
Lithuania
differed from its two more northerly neighbors, with Smetona having different motivations as well as securing power 8 years before any such events in Latvia
Latvia
or Estonia took place. Despite considerable political turmoil in Finland
Finland
no such events took place there. Finland
Finland
did however get embroiled in a bloody civil war, something that did not happen in the Baltics.[15] Some controversy surrounds the Baltic authoritarian régimes – due to the general stability and rapid economic growth of the period (even if brief), some commenters avoid the label "authoritarian"; others, however, condemn such an "apologetic" attitude, for example in later assessments of Kārlis Ulmanis. Soviet Occupation[edit]

Map of present-day Baltic states

In accordance with a secret protocol within the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 that divided Europe
Europe
into German and Soviet spheres of influence, the Soviet Army entered eastern Poland
Poland
in September 1939, and then coerced Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
Lithuania
into mutual assistance treaties which granted them the right to establish military bases in these. In June 1940, the Red Army
Red Army
occupied all of the territory of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and the Red Army
Red Army
installed new, pro-Soviet governments in all three countries. Following rigged elections, in which only pro-communist candidates were allowed to run, the newly "elected" parliaments of the three countries formally applied to "join" the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in August 1940 and were incorporated into it as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. Repressions, executions and mass deportations followed after that in the Baltics.[16][17] Deportations were used as a part of the Soviet Union's attempts, along with instituting the Russian Language as the only working language and other such tactics, at sovietization of its occupied territories. More than 200,000 people were deported by the Soviet government from the Baltic in 1940–1953 to remote, inhospitable areas of the Soviet Union. In addition, at least 75,000 were sent to Gulag. 10% of the entire adult Baltic population was deported or sent to labor camps.[18][19] (See June deportation, Soviet deportations from Estonia, Sovietization of the Baltic states) The Soviet control of the Baltic states
Baltic states
was interrupted by Nazi German invasion of this region in 1941. Initially, many Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians
Lithuanians
considered the Germans
Germans
as liberators from the Soviet Union. The Baltic countries hoped for the restoration of independence, but instead the Germans
Germans
established civil administration, known as the Reichskommissariat Ostland. During the occupation the Germans
Germans
carried out discrimination, mass deportations and mass killings generating Baltic resistance movements. The German occupation lasted until late 1944 (in Courland, until early 1945), when the countries were reoccupied by the Red Army
Red Army
and Soviet rule was re-established, with the passive agreement of the United States
United States
and Britain (see Yalta Conference and Potsdam Agreement). The forced collectivisation of agriculture began in 1947, and was completed after the mass deportation in March 1949 (see Operation Priboi). Private farms were confiscated, and farmers were made to join the collective farms. In all three countries, Baltic partisans, known colloquially as the Forest Brothers, Latvian national partisans, and Lithuanian partisans, waged unsuccessful guerrilla warfare against the Soviet occupation for the next eight years in a bid to regain their nations' independence. Although the armed resistance was defeated, the population remained anti-Soviet.

The Baltic Way
Baltic Way
was a mass anti-Soviet demonstration where approx. 25% of the population of the Baltic states
Baltic states
participated

Lithuania, Latvia
Latvia
and Estonia
Estonia
were considered to be under Soviet occupation by the United States, the United Kingdom,[20] Canada, NATO, and many other countries and international organizations.[21] During the Cold War
Cold War
period Lithuania
Lithuania
and Latvia
Latvia
maintained legations in Washington, DC, while Estonia
Estonia
had a mission in New York. Each was staffed, initially by diplomats from the last governments before USSR occupation.[22] In the late 1980s a massive campaign of civil resistance against Soviet rule, known as the Singing Revolution, began. On 23 August 1989, the Baltic Way, a two-million-strong human chain, stretched for 600 km from Tallinn
Tallinn
to Vilnius. In the wake of this campaign Gorbachev's government had privately concluded that the departure of the Baltic republics had become "inevitable".[23] This process contributed to the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
setting a precedent for the other Soviet republics to secede from the USSR. Soviet Union recognized the independence of three Baltic states
Baltic states
on 6 September 1991. There was a subsequent withdrawal of troops from the region (starting from Lithuania) in August 1993. The last Russian troops were withdrawn from there in August 1994.[24] Skrunda-1, the last Russian military radar in the Baltics, officially suspended operations in August 1998.[25] Politics[edit] The Baltic countries are located in Northern Europe, and because each has access to the sea, it is able to interact with many European countries. All three countries are parliamentary democracies, which have unicameral parliaments that are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms – Riigikogu
Riigikogu
in Estonia, Saeima
Saeima
in Latvia
Latvia
and Seimas in Lithuania. In Latvia
Latvia
and Estonia, the president is elected by parliament while Lithuania
Lithuania
has a semi-presidential system where the president is elected by popular vote. All are parts of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Each of the three countries has declared itself to be the restoration of the sovereign nation that had existed from 1918 to 1940, emphasizing their contention that Soviet domination over the Baltic nations during the Cold War
Cold War
period had been an illegal occupation and annexation. The same legal interpretation is shared by the United States, the United Kingdom, and all other Western democracies[citation needed], who held the forcible incorporation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
to be illegal. At least formally, the Western democracies never considered the three Baltic states
Baltic states
to be constituent parts of the Soviet Union. Australia
Australia
was a brief exception to this support of Baltic independence: In 1974, the Labor government of Australia
Australia
did recognize Soviet dominion, but this decision was reversed by the next Australian Parliament.[26] After the Baltic states
Baltic states
had restored their independence, integration with Western Europe
Europe
became a major strategic goal. In 2002, the Baltic nations applied for membership in NATO
NATO
and the EU. All three became NATO
NATO
members on 29 March 2004, and accessed to the EU on 1 May 2004. The Baltic states
Baltic states
are currently the only former-Soviet states that have joined either organization. Regional cooperation[edit] During the Baltic struggle for independence 1989–1992, a personal friendship developed between the (at that time unrecognized) Baltic ministers of foreign affairs and the Nordic ministers of foreign affairs. This friendship led to the creation of the Council of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
States in 1992, and the EuroFaculty in 1993.[27] Between 1994 and 2004, the BAFTA free trade agreement was established to help prepare the countries for their accession to the EU, rather than out of the Baltic states' desire to trade among themselves. The Baltic countries were more interested in gaining access to the rest of the European market. Currently, the governments of the Baltic states
Baltic states
cooperate in multiple ways, including cooperation among presidents, parliament speakers, heads of government, and foreign ministers. On 8 November 1991, the Baltic Assembly, which includes 15 to 20 MPs from each parliament, was established to facilitate inter-parliamentary cooperation.The Baltic Council of Ministers was established on 13 June 1994 to facilitate intergovernmental cooperation. Since 2003, there is coordination between the two organizations.[28] Compared with other regional groupings in Europe, such as Nordic council or Visegrad Four, Baltic cooperation is rather limited. Possible explanations include the short history of restored sovereignty and fear of losing it again, along with an orientation toward Nordic countries
Nordic countries
and Baltic-Nordic cooperation in The Nordic-Baltic Eight. Estonia
Estonia
especially has attempted to construct a Nordic identity for itself and denounced Baltic identity, despite still seeking to preserve close relationship with other countries in the region.[29][30] Current leaders[edit]

Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid President of Estonia

Latvia Raimonds Vējonis President of Latvia

Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė President of Lithuania

Estonia Jüri Ratas Prime Minister of Estonia

Latvia Māris Kučinskis Prime Minister of Latvia

Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis Prime Minister of Lithuania

Economies[edit] Main article: Baltic Tiger

State budget revenues per capita for 2016 in Estonia, Latvia
Latvia
and Lithuania.

Downtown Tallinn

Downtown Riga

Downtown Vilnius

Tallink
Tallink
is the largest passenger shipping company in the Baltic sea region in Northern Europe.

All three countries are members of the European Union, and the Eurozone. They are classified as high-income economies by the World Bank and maintain high Human Development Index. Estonia
Estonia
and Latvia
Latvia
are also members of the OECD, while Lithuania
Lithuania
is a prospective candidate. Estonia
Estonia
adopted the euro in January 2011, Latvia
Latvia
in January 2014, and Lithuania
Lithuania
in January 2015. Culture[edit]

St. Olaf's church in Tallinn, Estonia

Ethnic groups[edit]

Language branches in Northern Europe   North Germanic (Iceland and Scandinavia)   Finnic (Finland, Estonia)   Baltic (Latvia, Lithuania)

Estonians
Estonians
are Finnic people, together with the neighboring Finns. The Latvians
Latvians
and Lithuanians, linguistically and culturally related to each other, are descended from the Balts, an Indo-European people and culture. The peoples comprising the Baltic states
Baltic states
have together inhabited the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
for millennia, although not always peacefully in ancient times, over which period their populations, Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian have remained remarkably stable within the approximate territorial boundaries of the current Baltic states. While separate peoples with their own customs and traditions, historical factors have introduced cultural commonalities across and differences within them. The population of the Baltic countries belong to different Christian denominations, a reflection of historical circumstances. Both Western and Eastern Christianity had been introduced by the end of the first millennium. The current divide between Lutheranism
Lutheranism
to the north and Catholicism to the south is the remnant of Swedish and Polish hegemony, respectively, with Orthodox Christianity remaining the dominant faith among Russian and other East Slavic minorities.

St. Peter's Lutheran
Lutheran
Church, Riga, Latvia

The Baltic states
Baltic states
have historically been in many different spheres of influence, from Danish over Swedish and Polish–Lithuanian, to German (Hansa and Holy Roman Empire), and before independence in the Russian sphere of influence. The Baltic states
Baltic states
have a considerable Slavic minority: In Latvia: 34.5% (including 26.7% Russian, 3.3% Belarusian, 2.2% Ukrainian, and 2.2% Polish), In Estonia: 28.8%. In Lithuania: 13.8% (including 6.5% Polish and 5.3% Russian). The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
conducted a policy of Russification
Russification
by encouraging Russians and other Russian-speaking ethnic groups of the Soviet Union to settle in the Baltic Republics. Today, ethnic Russian immigrants from the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and their descendants make up a sizable minority in the Baltic states, particularly in Latvia
Latvia
(about one-quarter of the total population and close to one-half in the capital Riga) and Estonia
Estonia
(one-quarter of the population). Because the three Baltic states
Baltic states
had been occupied by Soviet Union later than other territories (hence, e.g., the higher living standard), there was a strong feeling of national identity (often labeled "bourgeois nationalism" by Soviets) and popular resentment towards the imposed Soviet rule in the three countries, in combination with Soviet cultural policy, which employed superficial multiculturalism (in order for the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
to appear as a multinational union based on free will of peoples) in limits allowed by the Communist "internationalist" (but in effect pro-Russification) ideology and under tight control of the Communist Party (those of the Baltic nationals who crossed the line were called "bourgeois nationalists" and repressed). This let Estonians, Latvians
Latvians
and Lithuanians
Lithuanians
preserve a high degree of Europe-oriented national identity.[31] In Soviet times this made them appear as the "West" of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in the cultural and political sense, thus as close to emigration a Russian could get without leaving the Soviet Union. Languages[edit] The languages of Baltic nations belong to two distinct language families. The Latvian and Lithuanian languages belong to the Indo-European language family and are the only extant members of the Baltic language group (or more specifically, Eastern Baltic subgroup of Baltic). The Estonian language
Estonian language
is a Finnic language, together with the neighboring Finland.

Catholic Church of All Saints, Vilnius, Lithuania

Apart from the indigenous languages, German was the dominant language in Estonia
Estonia
and Latvia
Latvia
in academics, professional life, and upper society from the 13th century until World War I. Polish served a similar function in Lithuania. Numerous Swedish loanwords have made it into the Estonian language; it was under the Swedish rule that schools were established and education propagated in the 17th century. Swedish remains spoken in Estonia, particularly the Estonian Swedish dialect of the Estonian Swedes
Estonian Swedes
of northern Estonia
Estonia
and the islands (though many fled to Sweden
Sweden
as the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
invaded and re-occupied Estonia
Estonia
in 1944). There is also significant proficiency in Finnish in Estonia
Estonia
owing to its closeness to the native Estonian and also the widespread practice of listening to Finnish broadcasts during the Soviet era. Russian also achieved significant usage particularly in commerce. Russian was the most commonly studied foreign language at all levels of schooling during the Soviet era. Despite schooling available and administration conducted in local languages, Russian settlers were neither encouraged nor motivated to learn the official local languages, so knowledge of Russian became a practical necessity in daily life. Even to this day, the majority of the population of the Baltic states
Baltic states
profess to be proficient in Russian, especially those who lived during Soviet rule. Meanwhile, the minority of Russian origin generally do not speak the national language. The question of their assimilation is a major factor in social and diplomatic affairs.[32] Sports[edit] Basketball
Basketball
is a notable sport across the Baltic states. Teams from the three countries compete in the respective national championships and the Baltic Basketball
Basketball
League. The Lithuanian teams have been the strongest, with the BC Žalgiris
BC Žalgiris
winning the 1999 FIBA Euroleague. The Lithuania
Lithuania
men's national basketball team has won the EuroBasket
EuroBasket
on three occasions and has claimed third place at the 2010 World Cup and three Olympic tournaments. Meanwhile, the Latvia
Latvia
men's national basketball team won the 1935 Eurobasket and finished second in 1939, but has performed poorly since the 1990s. Lithuania
Lithuania
hosted the Eurobasket in 1939 and 2011, whereas Latvia
Latvia
was one of the hosts in 2015. The historic Lithuanian basketball team Kauno Žalgiris
Kauno Žalgiris
won the Euroleague
Euroleague
in 1999. However, the Latvia
Latvia
women's national basketball team finished fourth at the 2007 Eurobasket. Ice hockey
Ice hockey
is also popular in Latvia. Dinamo Riga
Riga
is the country's strongest hockey club, playing in the Kontinental Hockey League. The 2006 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships were held in Latvia. Association football
Association football
is popular in the Baltic states, but have claimed poor results in international competitions. They have played in the Baltic Cup since 1928. Estonian and Soviet chess grandmaster Paul Keres
Paul Keres
was among the world's top players from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s. He narrowly missed a chance at a World Chess Championship match on five occasions. Estonian Markko Märtin
Markko Märtin
was successful in the World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
in the early 2000, where he got five wins and 18 podiums, as well as a third place in the 2004 standings. Latvian tennis player Jeļena Ostapenko
Jeļena Ostapenko
won the 2017 French Open, another Latvian tennis player Ernests Gulbis
Ernests Gulbis
was a semifinalist at the 2010 Rome Masters and 2014 French Open. Geography[edit] Nature[edit]

Forests cover over half the landmass of Estonia

Devonian sandstone cliffs in Gauja National Park, Latvia's largest and oldest national park

Winter landscape of Lithuania

Statistics[edit]

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General statistics[edit] All three are Unitary republics, joined the European Union
European Union
on 1 May 2004, share EET/EEST time zone schedules and euro currency.

Estonia Latvia Lithuania Total

Coat of arms

N/A

Flag

N/A

Capital Tallinn Riga Vilnius N/A

Independence -until 13th century -24 February 1918 -restored 20 August 1991 -Until 13th century -18 November 1918 -restored 21 August 1991 -Until 18th century -16 February 1918 -restored 11 March 1990 N/A

Political system Parliamentary republic Parliamentary republic Semi-presidential republic N/A

Parliament Riigikogu Saeima Seimas N/A

Current President Kersti Kaljulaid Raimonds Vējonis Dalia Grybauskaitė N/A

Population (2018) 1,318,705 1,953,200 2,810,865 6,082,770

Area 45,339 km2 = 17,505 sq mi 64,589 km2 = 24,938 sq mi 65,300 km2 = 25,212 sq mi 175,228 km2 = 67,656 sq mi

Density 29/km2 = 75/sq mi 31/km2 = 79/sq mi 44/km2 = 115/sq mi 35/km2 = 92/sq mi

Water area % 4.56% 1.5% 1.35% 2.23%

GDP (nominal) total (2017)[33] $25.683 billion $30.176 billion $46.666 billion $102.525 billion

GDP (nominal) per capita (2017)[33] $19,618 $15,402 $16,443 $16,790

GDP (PPP) total (2017)[33] $41.202 billion $53.467 billion $90.632 billion $185.301 billion

GDP (PPP) per capita (2017)[33] $31,473 $27,291 $31,935 $30,350

Gini Index (2012[34]) 33.2 35.5 35.2 N/A

HDI (2015[35]) 0.865 (Very High) 0.830 (Very High) 0.848 (Very High) N/A

Internet TLD .ee .lv .lt N/A

Calling code +372 +371 +370 N/A

Cities[edit]

 

v t e

Largest cities in Baltic states Statistics Estonia, Statistics Latvia
Latvia
and Statistics Lithuania estimates for 1 October 2015

Rank

Country Pop. Rank

Country Pop.

Riga

Vilnius 1 Riga Latvia 696,593 11 Jelgava Latvia 61,961

Tallinn

Kaunas

2 Vilnius Lithuania 542,664 12 Narva Estonia 58,375

3 Tallinn Estonia 444,085 13 Marijampolė Lithuania 58,027

4 Kaunas Lithuania 297,669 14 Jūrmala Latvia 57,671

5 Klaipėda Lithuania 154,275 15 Alytus Lithuania 55,526

6 Šiauliai Lithuania 102,983 16 Pärnu Estonia 41,170

7 Tartu Estonia 98,449 17 Ventspils Latvia 40,273

8 Daugavpils Latvia 96,818 18 Kohtla-Järve Estonia 36,622

9 Panevėžys Lithuania 95,218 19 Mažeikiai Lithuania 35,997

10 Liepāja Latvia 78,787 20 Rēzekne Latvia 31,886

See also[edit]

Estonia
Estonia
portal Latvia
Latvia
portal Lithuania
Lithuania
portal

Balts, Baltic Finns, Baltic Germans
Baltic Germans
and Baltic Russians Baltic Entente Baltic Free Trade Area Baltic provinces Baltic region Baltic Tiger Baltic Way Baltia Baltoscandia Scandinavia List of cities in the Baltic states
Baltic states
by population United Baltic Duchy Occupation of the Baltic states June deportation Operation Priboi Soviet deportations from Estonia Nordic Estonia Nordic countries Northern Europe

References[edit]

^ Dini, Pierto Umberto (2000) [1997]. Baltu valodas (in Latvian). Translated from Italian by Dace Meiere. Riga: Jānis Roze. ISBN 9984-623-96-3.  ^ a b Krauklis, Konstantīns (1992). Latviešu etimoloģijas vārdnīca (in Latvian). I. Rīga: Avots. pp. 103–104. OCLC 28891146.  ^ Bojtár, Endre (1999). Foreword to the Past: A Cultural History of the Baltic People. Budapest and New York: Central European University Press. pp. 9–10. ISBN 978-963-9116-42-9.  ^ Butler, Ralph (1919). The New Eastern Europe. London: Longmans, Green and Co. pp. 3, 21, 22, 23, 24.  ^ Moritz Cantor, "Nesselmann: Georg Heinrich Ferdinand". In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. Vol. 23, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1886, p. 445. ^ The Archaeology of Death in Post-medieval Europe. Sarah Tarlow, Ed. De Gruyter Open: Warsaw, 2015. – pp. 89–90. url:[1] ^ Andres Kasekamp. A History of the Baltic States. Palgrave Macmillan:Houndmills, 2010. – p. 12. url:[2] ^ Bojtár, Endre (1999). Foreword to the Past: A Cultural History of the Baltic People. Budapest and New York: Central European University Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-963-9116-42-9.  ^ "Ништадтский мир" [Treaty of Nystad]. Great Soviet Encyclopedia. 30: Николаев – Олонки (2nd ed.). М.: Сов. энциклопедия. 1954.  ^ Ragsdale, Hugh; V. N. Ponomarev (1993). Imperial Russian foreign policy. Cambridge University Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-521-44229-9.  ^ Matthews, W. K. "Nationality and Language in the East Baltic Area", American Slavic and East European Review, Vol. 6, No. 1/2 (May 1947), pp. 62–78 ^ George Maude. "Aspects of the Governing of the Finns", Peter Lang, 2010, p. 114 ^ Smele, John (1996). Civil war in Siberia: the anti-Bolshevik government of Admiral Kolchak, 1918–1920. London: Cambridge University Press. p. 305.  ^ Calvo, Carlos (2009). Dictionnaire Manuel de Diplomatie et de Droit International Public et Privé. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. p. 246.  ^ "Why did Finland
Finland
remain a democracy between the two World Wars, whereas the Baltic States developed authoritarian regimes?". January 2004. as [Lithuania] is a distinct case from the other two Baltic countries. Not only was an authoritarian regime set up in 1926, eight years before those of Estonia
Estonia
and Latvia, but it was also formed not to counter a threat from the right, but through a military coup d'etat against a leftist government. (...) The hostility between socialists and non-socialists in Finland
Finland
had been amplified by a bloody civil war  ^ These Names Accuse—Nominal List of Latvians
Latvians
Deported to Soviet Russia ^ The White Book – Losses Inflicted On The Estonian Nation By The Occupation Regimes 1940–1991 Archived 14 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ The Baltic States Archived 20 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Communism and Crimes against Humanity in the Baltic states
Baltic states
Archived 1 March 2001 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Country
Country
Profiles: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
Lithuania
at UK Foreign Office ^ U.S.-Baltic Relations: Celebrating 85 Years of Friendship Archived 6 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine. at state.gov ^ Norman Kempster, Annexed Baltic States : Envoys Hold On to Lonely U.S. Postings Los Angeles Times, 31 October 1988. Retrieved 11 July 2016. ^ Beissinger, Mark R. (2009). "The intersection of Ethnic Nationalism and People Power Tactics in the Baltic States". In Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash
Timothy Garton Ash
(eds.). Civil resistance
Civil resistance
and power politics: the experience of non-violent action from Gandhi to the present. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 231–246. ISBN 978-0-19-955201-6. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) ^ Baltic Military District globalsecurity.org ^ SKRUNDA SHUTS DOWN. The Jamestown Foundation. 1 September 1998. Retrieved 19 June 2013. ^ 'The Latvians
Latvians
in Sydney' (2008) ^ Kristensen, Gustav N. 2010. Born into a Dream. EuroFaculty and the Council of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
States. Berliner Wissentshafts-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-8305-1769-6. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic
Republic
of Latvia: Co-operation among the Baltic States ^ Upleja, Sanita (10 November 1998). "Ilvess neapšauba Baltijas valstu politisko vienotību" (in Latvian). Diena. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2015. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ [3] ^ "Baltic states – Soviet Republics". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 5 March 2007.  ^ Nikolas K. Gvosdev; Christopher Marsh (2013). Russian Foreign Policy: Interests, Vectors, and Sectors. CQ Press. p. 217.  ^ a b c d http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2017/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2017&ey=2017&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=subject&ds=.&br=1&pr1.x=73&pr1.y=13&c=946%2C939%2C941&s=NGDPD%2CPPPGDP%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPPC&grp=0&a= ^ GINI index ( World Bank
World Bank
estimate) ^ [4]

Further reading[edit]

Bojtár, Endre (1999). Forward to the Past – A Cultural History of the Baltic People. Budapest: Central European University Press. ISBN 978-963-9116-42-9.  Bousfield, Jonathan (2004). Baltic States. Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-858-28840-6.  Clerc, Louis; Glover, Nikolas; Jordan, Paul, eds. Histories of Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding in the Nordic and Baltic Countries: Representing the Periphery (Leiden: Brill Nijhoff, 2015). 348 pp. ISBN 978- 90-04-30548-9. for an online book review see online review D'Amato, Giuseppe (2004). Travel to the Baltic Hansa – The European Union
European Union
and its enlargement to the East (Book in Italian: Viaggio nell’Hansa baltica – L’Unione europea e l’allargamento ad Est). Milano: Greco&Greco editori. ISBN 88-7980-355-7.  Hiden, John; Patrick Salmon (1991). The Baltic Nations and Europe: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
Lithuania
in the Twentieth Century. London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-08246-3.  Hiden, John; Vahur Made; David J. Smith (2008). The Baltic Question during the Cold War. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-56934-7.  Jacobsson, Bengt (2009). The European Union
European Union
and the Baltic States: Changing forms of governance. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-48276-9.  Kasekamp, Andres (2010). A History of the Baltic States. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-01940-9.  Lane, Thomas; Artis Pabriks; Aldis Purs; David J. Smith (2013). The Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia
Latvia
and Lithuania. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-48304-2.  Lehti, Marko; David J. Smith, eds. (2003). Post- Cold War
Cold War
Identity Politics – Northern and Baltic Experiences. London/Portland: Frank Cass Publishers. ISBN 0-7146-8351-5.  Lieven, Anatol (1993). The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Path to Independence. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05552-8.  O'Connor, Kevin (2006). Culture and Customs of the Baltic States. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-33125-1.  O'Connor, Kevin (2003). The History of the Baltic States. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-32355-3.  Plakans, Andrejs (2011). A Concise History of the Baltic States. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-54155-8.  Smith, Graham (ed.) (1994). The Baltic States: The National Self-determination of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-12060-5. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Palmer, Alan. The Baltic: A new history of the region and its people (New York: Overlook Press, 2006; published In London with the title Northern shores: a history of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
and its peoples (John Murray, 2006). Šleivyte, Janina (2010). Russia's European Agenda and the Baltic States. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-55400-8.  Vilkauskaite, Dovile O. "From Empire to Independence: The Curious Case of the Baltic States 1917-1922." (thesis, University of Connecticut, 2013). online; Bibliography pp 70 – 75. Williams, Nicola; Debra Herrmann; Cathryn Kemp (2003). Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
Lithuania
(3rd ed.). London: Lonely Planet. ISBN 1-74059-132-1. 

International peer-reviewed journals, media and book series dedicated to the Baltic region
Baltic region
include:

On the Boundary of Two Worlds: Identity, Freedom, and Moral Imagination in the Baltics
Baltics
(book series) Journal of Baltic Studies, journal of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS) Lituanus, journal dedicated to Lithuanian and Baltic art, history, language, literature and related cultural topics The Baltic Course, International Internet Magazine. Analysis and background information on Baltic markets Baltic Reports, English-language daily news website that covers all three Baltic states The Baltic Review, the independent newspaper from the Baltics The Baltic Times, independent weekly newspaper that covers latest political, economic, business, and cultural events in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania The Baltics
Baltics
Today, news about The Baltics

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Baltic states.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Baltic states.

The Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
Information Centre vifanord – a digital library that provides scientific information on the Nordic and Baltic countries

Official statistics of the Baltic states:

Statistics Estonia Statistics Latvia Statistics Lithuania

v t e

Baltic states

 Estonia  Latvia  Lithuania

History

Territorial changes Baltic Entente United Baltic Duchy Occupation

Timeline Background by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
(1940) by Nazi Germany by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
(1944)

Deportations

June deportation (1941) Operation Priboi
Operation Priboi
(1949)

State continuity

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Under Soviet rule (1944-91)

Guerrilla war

Forest Brothers

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Geography

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Politics

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Sport

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Countries bordering the Baltic Sea

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v t e

Laureates of the Polar Music Prize

1990s

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
/ the Baltic states
Baltic states
(1992) Dizzy Gillespie
Dizzy Gillespie
/ Witold Lutosławski
Witold Lutosławski
(1993) Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
/ Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Nikolaus Harnoncourt
(1994) Elton John
Elton John
/ Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Rostropovich
(1995) Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
/ Pierre Boulez
Pierre Boulez
(1996) Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen
/ Eric Ericson
Eric Ericson
(1997) Ray Charles
Ray Charles
/ Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
(1998) Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
/ Iannis Xenakis
Iannis Xenakis
(1999)

2000s

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
/ Isaac Stern
Isaac Stern
(2000) Burt Bacharach
Burt Bacharach
/ Robert Moog
Robert Moog
/ Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen
(2001) Miriam Makeba
Miriam Makeba
/ Sofia Gubaidulina
Sofia Gubaidulina
(2002) Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
(2003) B.B. King
B.B. King
/ György Ligeti
György Ligeti
(2004) Gilberto Gil
Gilberto Gil
/ Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
(2005) Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
/ Valery Gergiev
Valery Gergiev
(2006) Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
/ Steve Reich
Steve Reich
(2007) Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
/ Renée Fleming
Renée Fleming
(2008) Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel
/ José Antonio Abreu
José Antonio Abreu
/ El Sistema (2009)

2010s

Björk
Björk
/ Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
(2010) Kronos Quartet
Kronos Quartet
/ Patti Smith
Patti Smith
(2011) Paul Simon
Paul Simon
/ Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma
(2012) Youssou N'Dour
Youssou N'Dour
/ Kaija Saariaho
Kaija Saariaho
(2013) Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
/ Peter Sellars
Peter Sellars
(2014) Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
/ Evelyn Glennie
Evelyn Glennie
(2015) Max Martin
Max Martin
/ Cecilia Bartoli
Cecilia Bartoli
(2016) Sting / Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
(2017) Metallica
Metallica
/ Afghanistan National Institute of Music (2018)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 304910901 NDL: 0056

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