Lithuania (ˌlɪθjuˈeɪniə ; Lietuva lʲɪɛtʊˈvɐ), officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika lʲɪɛtʊˈvoːs rʲɛsˈpʊblʲɪkɐ), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of three Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Lithuania shares land borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Russia to the southwest. It has a maritime border with Sweden to the west on the Baltic Sea. Lithuania covers an area of , with a population of 2.86 million. Its capital and largest city is Vilnius; other major cities are Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys. Lithuanians belong to the ethno-linguistic group of the Balts and speak Lithuanian, one of only a few living Baltic languages.
For millennia the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, becoming king and founding the Kingdom of Lithuania on 6 July 1253. In the 14th cen