There are “almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region”. One definition describes Eastern Europe as a cultural (and econo-cultural) entity: the region lying in Europe with main characteristics consisting in Byzantine, Orthodox, and some Turco-Islamic influences. Another definition was created during the Cold War and used more or less synonymously with the term Eastern Bloc. A similar definition names the formerly communist European states outside the Soviet Union as Eastern Europe.
- The United Nations Statistics Division developed a selection of geographical regions and groupings of countries and areas, which are or may be used in compilation of statistics.
- The United Nations’ definition encompasses most of the states which were once under the Soviet Union’s realm of influence and were part of the Warsaw Pact.
- CIA defines Eastern Europe as Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia (transcontinental), Turkey (transcontinental) and Ukraine.
- The Cold War increased the number of reasons for the division of Europe into two parts along the borders of NATO and Warsaw Pact states.
- Most sources place the Baltic states in Northern Europe whereas the CIA World Factbook places the region in Eastern Europe.
- Georgia Armenia Azerbaijan Other former Soviet states. Several other former Soviet republics may be considered part of Eastern Europe Russiais a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Asia.
- Yugoslavia and Albania had their own Communist regimes; after a civil war the Communists lost in Greece.