Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Baltic region (sometimes briefly The Baltics) is an ambiguous term used to denominate an arbitrary region connected to the Baltic Sea (also called The Baltics). The term Balticum has a more precise meaning but is not as common in English.
Baltic comes from an Indo-European root balt- meaning white. Thus Baltic Sea means White Sea. The same root begins the word Belarus, also known as White Russia.
Depending on the context the Baltic region might stand for:
- the present Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and the Russian Kaliningrad enclave
- East Prussia and the historical lands of Livonia, Courland and Estonia (Swedish Estonia and Russian Estonia)
- the geographical area of the above, sometimes designated by the loanword Balticum connected to the Baltic Germans
- the former Baltic province of Imperial Russia, i.e. the lands above in addition to Finland and sometimes Poland
- countries on the (British) trade route through the Baltic Sea, i.e. the lands above in addition to the Scandinavian Peninsula (Sweden and Norway)
- Baltic Sea countries, i.e. the lands above in addition to Denmark, Germany and Russia
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