Baltic states, the countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, bordering on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Formed in 1918, they remained independent republics until their involuntary incorporation in 1940 into the USSR. They regained their independence in Sept., 1991, and virtually all Russian troops were withdrawn by Aug., 1994. Finland is usually classed with the Scandinavian rather than with the Baltic states. See also Baltic provinces.