Lithuania located in eastern Europe, occupies part of the Niemen Basin (Nemunas). The Republic is bordered to the South by Poland and Russia (Kaliningrad oblast), to the East by Belarus, to the North by Latvia and to the West by the Baltic Sea.
It has an area of 65,300 km and a population of 3.55 million (2009). The country declared independence from the Soviet Union in March 1990, and has been a member of the European Union since 2004. As a parliamentary democracy, Lithuania is administratively divided into 10 provinces (apskritys, singular : apskritis). Capital: Vilnius; other major cities: Kaunas (Kovno), Klaipeda and Siauliai.