Kazys Pakštas, a famous Lithuanian traveller and geographer, came up with the idea of a Baltoscandian Confederation as early as before World War II. His desire was the integration of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The geographer visualised these seven countries as a single highly durable and stable bloc of Northern Europe.
After Lithuania regained its independence, the United Nations attributed it to the group of Northern European countries in 1992. Geographically, Lithuania is the Scandinavian country in Northern Europe, given this classification under the UN’s geographical distribution of world regions and states. The history of Lithuania backs up this designation: for example, the country has had relationships with Nordic countries through wars and trade routes, Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Vasa was born in Sweden. The Nordic countries were also the first to recognise this nation’s independence and opened embassies here, as well as supporting its democracy and the development of its society. Scandinavian capital predominates in Lithuania today, and the Baltic Assembly and Baltic Council of Ministers maintain close links with institutions in the Nordic countries.
A mere 200 kilometres of the Baltic Sea separate Lithuania and Sweden, a distance that can be covered by ferries, yachts or even windsurfers. Vidmantas Urbonas, an ultra-triathlon champion from Lithuania, swam across the Baltic Sea in 2007, stepping off on the island of Gotland.