Country Listing

Lithuania Table of Contents


Transportation and Telecommunications

Roads: In 1994 about 55,603 kilometers total, of which 42,209 kilometers asphalted.

Railroads: In 1994 about 2,000 kilometers of railroads (1,524-millimeter gauge), of which 122 kilometers electrified. Train service available to Daugavpils in Latvia and to Poland and Belarus.

Civil Aviation: International airports at Vilnius and Siauliai. State-owned Lithuanian Airlines operates flights to Amster-dam, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin, Frankfurt, and forty-three cities in former Soviet Union. Service also provided by Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, Drakk Air Lines, Hamburg Airlines, LOT (Polish Airlines), Lufthansa, MalÚv, SAS (Scandinavian Airlines), and Swissair.

Shipping: 600 kilometers of inland waterways navigable year round. Inland port Kaunas; maritime port Klaipeda. During Soviet period, 90 percent of Klaipeda's traffic went to other Soviet republics.

Telecommunications: 900,000 telephone subscriber circuits, or 240 per 1,000 persons, among most advanced of former Soviet republics. In 1993 an estimated 1.4 million television sets and more than 1.4 million radios in use, or one per 2.7 persons.

Government and Politics

Government: Independent democratic republic. President, elected for term of five years and a maximum of two consecutive terms, is head of state. Seimas, a unicameral legislative body, holds supreme legislative authority. Its 141 members are elected for four-year terms. It initiates and approves legislation sponsored by prime minister. Cabinet, known as Council of Ministers, is headed by prime minister, who is appointed by president with approval of Seimas.

Judicial System: Based on civil law system, with no judicial review of legislative acts. Independent of authority of legislative and executive branches of government, but subject to their influence. Judicial power held by Supreme Court; Seimas appoints and dismisses its judges on recommendation of head of state. Other courts include Constitutional Court, Court of Appeals, and district, local, and special courts.

Politics: Two main political organizations: Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party (LDLP; successor to Communist Party of Lithuania), which won more than half of seats in Seimas elected October 1992; and Fatherland Union, main opposition grouping and successor to Sajudis independence movement. Numerous overlapping factions, coalitions, and smaller parties.

Administrative Divisions: Forty-four regions (rajonai; sing. rajonas--rural districts) and eleven municipalities, divided into twenty-two urban districts and ninety-two towns.

Foreign Relations: Member of United Nations and its specialized agencies, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund, and a number of European economic and security organizations. Since independence, cornerstone of Lithuanian foreign policy has been integration with European security institutions: Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe (COE), European Union (EU), North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), World Trade Organization (WTO), and, ultimately, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Member of OSCE, COE, and NACC, and associate member of EU. Concluded Baltic Agreement on Economic Cooperation April 12, 1990, with Latvia and Estonia. Member of Council of the Baltic Sea States. Agreements on economic cooperation signed with Russia in November 1993; with Ukraine, February 1994; and with Poland, April 1994. On July 18, 1994, free-trade agreement signed with European Union effective January 1, 1995, to eliminate tariff barriers during six-year transition period.

Data as of January 1995