The Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary are three countries in Eastern Europe. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania make up the Baltics, which is widely recognized as a sub-region of Eastern Europe. Most sources recognize Russia as a country in Eastern Europe although a part of the country lies also in Asia.
There is no consensus on which countries are in Eastern Europe as many scholars, experts and people who live within the region use different sets of criteria to define Eastern Europe. However, the most common classification uses the Iron Curtain before its fall: all countries on its east side are now Eastern European countries. With this classification, the Eastern Europe region also includes countries such as Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia. These three countries are, however, not in Eastern Europe, according to UN Statistic Division. The institute only recognizes ten countries as Eastern European countries, which do not include the Baltic states.
The European Union also has a different classification. This is partly because the eastern side of Europe is a large region encompassing many different cultures, ethnicities, languages, and histories. Poland and the Czech Republic, for example, are in their location more at the center of Europe rather than at the east. By the same token, Croatia, Albania and Macedonia are more in the south of Europe. In terms of ethnic groups, the Baltic populations are very different from the rest of the countries in the east side of Europe.