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After being part of the Soviet bloc for 50 years, Lithuania declared its independence in 1990, becoming the first country to seek independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Lithuania joined the European Union (EU) in 2004. With the Baltic Sea forming part of its western boundary, the country of 3,596,617 people has 61 miles (99 kilometers) of coastline. The climate of Lithuania is transitional, alternating between maritime and continental, with wet, moderate winters and summers. The terrain is made up of lowlands dotted with small lakes. Lithuania has almost no natural resources except for arable land and peat.

Lithuania has gradually severed economic ties with Russia as it forges ties with the West. The government is still in the process of privatization, having converted ...

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