The Baltic states (also known as Baltics, Baltic nations or Baltic countries) are three countries to the east of the Baltic Sea, that gained independence from Russian Empire in the wake of World War I. Specifically, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Prior to the World War II Finland was considered a Baltic state, too.

While the indigenous people of Latvia and Lithuania are known as Baltic peoples, those of Estonia (and Finland) are Finnic peoples. Another Baltic identity, Baltic German, began to develop during the Middle Ages after the Livonian Crusade.

Interestingly, Latvians are related to Estonians historically and genetically, with Latvians and Estonians being genetically most similar nations in European Union and to Lithuanians genetically, culturally and linguistically.

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