Cruising to Lithuania
Independent between the two World Wars, Lithuania was annexed by the USSR in 1940. 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.
Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Transitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers
Lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil
Lowest point: Baltic Sea 0 m
Lithuania, the Baltic state that has conducted the most trade with Russia, has slowly rebounded from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Unemployment dropped from 11% in 2003 to 5.3% in 2005. Growing domestic consumption and increased investment have furthered recovery. Trade has been increasingly oriented toward the West.
Lithuania has gained membership in the World Trade Organization and joined the EU in May 2004. Privatization of the large, state-owned utilities, particularly in the energy sector, is nearing completion. Overall, more than 80% of enterprises have been privatized. Foreign government and business support have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy.
Airports: 95 (2005)
600 km (2005)
Total: 48 ships (1000 GRT or over) 338,565 GRT/339,238 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
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