The first freely elected president of independent Lithuania, Algirdas Brazauskas, has died at the age of 77.
He had been undergoing treatment for prostate and lymphatic cancer, when he passed away at his home in Vilnius.
Brazauskas was leader of the Lithuanian Communist Party when it broke with Moscow in the late 1980s. He was a key player in the country’s independence in the dawn of the next decade.
As President, he launched bids to enter NATO and the EU.
After quitting politics briefly, he came back and served as prime minister for five years before retiring.
He is survived by a wife and ex-wife, two adult daughters and five grandchildren.