Lithuania is the largest, and most southerly, of the three Baltic republics.
It was the first Soviet republic to declare independence on 11 March 1990.
It joined the European Union in 2004 and by 2014 its economy had doubled in size from what it was in 2000.
Its leading export is refined petroleum followed by fertilizer. Its wages are among the lowest in the EU and its population is 3.3 million.
Lithuania’s most famous national dish is cepelinai, potato dumplings stuffed with meat, curd cheese or mushrooms. Other national foods include dark rye bread, cold beet soup (šaltibarščiai), and kugelis (a baked potato pudding).