18 Facts About Baltic states


Baltic states or the Baltic countries is a modern unofficial geopolitical term, typically used to group three countries: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

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All three Baltic states countries are classified as high-income economies by the World Bank and maintain a very high Human Development Index.

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Term "Baltic states" cannot be used unambiguously in the context of cultural areas, national identity, or language.

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Since the Middle Ages, the Baltic states Sea has appeared on maps in Germanic languages as the equivalent of 'East Sea': German: Ostsee, Danish: Østersøen, Dutch: Oostzee, Swedish: Ostersjon, etc.

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Terms related to modern name Baltic states appear in ancient texts, but had fallen into disuse until reappearing as the adjective in German, from which it was adopted in other languages.

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Term Baltic countries was, until the early 20th century, used in the context of countries neighbouring the Baltic Sea: Sweden and Denmark, sometimes Germany and the Russian Empire.

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Areas of what are now the independent Baltic states countries have seen different regional and imperial affiliations during their existence.

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The greater part of the three modern Baltic states' territory was for the first time included in the same political entity when the Russian Empire expanded in the 18th century.

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Large parts of the Baltic states countries were controlled by the Russian Empire until the final stages of World War I in 1918, when Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania gained their sovereignty.

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All three Baltic states countries experienced a period of authoritarian rule by a head of state who had come to power after a bloodless coup: Antanas Smetona in Lithuania, Karlis Ulmanis in Latvia, and Konstantin Pats during the "era of silence" in Estonia, respectively.

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Soviet occupation of the Baltic states countries was interrupted by Nazi German invasion of the region in 1941.

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In 2002, the Baltic states governments applied to join the European Union and become members of NATO.

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The Baltic states countries were more interested in gaining access to the rest of the European market.

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Currently, the governments of the Baltic states cooperate in multiple ways, including cooperation among presidents, parliament speakers, heads of government, and foreign ministers.

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The peoples in the Baltic states have together inhabited the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea for millennia, although not always peacefully in ancient times, over which period their populations, Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian, have remained remarkably stable within the approximate territorial boundaries of the current Baltic states.

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Populations of each Baltic states country belong to several Christian denominations, a reflection of historical circumstances.

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Baltic states have historically been in many different spheres of influence, from Danish over Swedish and Polish–Lithuanian, to German, and before independence in the Russian sphere of influence.

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Baltic states are inhabited by several ethnic minorities: in Latvia: 33.

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