Lithuania joins euro as tensions with neighboring Russia rise

December 31, 2014 10:03 PM

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VILNIUS (Reuters) - Lithuania joined the euro zone at the stroke of midnight on Thursday, hoping to anchor itself in Europe as its former master Russia flexes its military muscle in the region.

The first Soviet republic to declare independence, in 1990, Lithuania is the last of the three Baltic states to join the currency union and will be the last country to do so for the foreseeable future, with remaining European Union members at least two years, and probably much more, away.

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