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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.


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Government

Country name
Conventional long form Republic of Lithuania
Conventional short form Lithuania
Local long form Lietuvos Respublika
Local short form Lietuva
Former
Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type
Parliamentary democracy

Capital
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

Administrative divisions
10 counties (apskritys, singular - apskritis); Alytaus, Kauno, Klaipedos, Marijampoles, Panevezio, Siauliu, Taurages, Telsiu, Utenos, Vilniaus

Independence
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)

National holiday
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

Constitution
Adopted 25 October 1992; last amended 13 July 2004

Legal system
Civil law system; legislative acts can be appealed to the constitutional court

International law organization participation
Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state
President Dalia GRYBAUSKAITE (since 12 July 2009)
Head of government
Prime Minister Andrius KUBILIUS (since 27 November 2008)
Cabinet
Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister
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%; Andrius KUBILIUS' government approved by Parliament 83-40 with 5 abstentions

Legislative branch
Unicameral Parliament or Seimas (141 seats; 71 members elected by popular vote, 70 elected by proportional representation; members to serve four-year terms)
Elections
Last held on 12 and 26 October 2008 (next to be held in October 2012)
Election results
Percent of vote by party - TS-LKD 19.7%, TPP 15.1%, TT 12.7%, LSDP 11.7%, DP+J 9%, LRLS 5.7%, LCS 5.3%, LLRA 4.8%, LVLS 3.7%, NS 3.6%, other 8.7%; seats by faction - TS-LKD 44, LSDP 26, TPP 16, TT 15, LRLS 11, DP+J 10, LCS 8, LLRA 3, LVLS 3, NS 1, independent 4; note - seats by faction as of 25 January 2011 - TS-LKD 45, LSDP 24, TT 18, LCS and TPP 13, LRLS 13, Christian Party 10, DP 10, unaffiliated 7, vacant 1; note - TS-LKD, LRLS, and LCS form the ruling coalition

Judicial branch
Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Court of Appeal; judges for all courts appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders
Christian party [Gediminas VAGNORIUS]; Civil Democracy Party or PDP [Algimantas MATULEVICIUS]; Electoral Action of Lithuanian Poles or LLRA [Valdemar TOMASZEVSKI]; Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats or TS-LKD [Andrius KUBILIUS]; Labor Party or DP [Viktor USPASKICH]; Liberal and Center Union or LCS [Algis CAPLIKAS]; Liberal Movement or LS or LRLS [Eligijus MASIULIS]; Lithuanian Farmers' Union or LVLS or VLS [Ramunas KARBAUSKIS]; Lithuanian People's Party [Kazimiera PRUNSKIENE]; National Revival or TPP [Arunas VALINSKAS]; New Union (Social Liberal) or NS [Arturas PAULAUSKAS]; Political movement "Taip" (Yes) [Arturas ZUOKAS]; Order and Justice Party or TT [Rolandas PAKSAS]; Social Democratic Party or LSDP [Algirdas BUTKEVICIUS]; Tautininkai Union [Gintaras SONGAILA]

International organization participation
Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the us
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

Diplomatic representation from the us
Chief of mission Ambassador Anne E. DERSE
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

Flag description
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

National symbol(s)
Mounted knight known as Vytis (the Chaser)

National anthem
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


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  Lithuania (Vilnius):


  GPS points from Lithuania (Vilnius)

Diyokishkyay Kauno Apskritis

Norgeliu Panevezio Apskritis

Stungiai Siauliu Apskritis

Alantas Lithuania (general)

Seyriyay Alytaus Apskritis

Rukuiziai Panevezio Apskritis

Parudaminis Vilniaus Apskritis

Rudyne Siauliu Apskritis




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