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After a brief period of independence between the two World Wars, Latvia was annexed by the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries. It reestablished its independence in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 30% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 2,259,810 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Latvian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Latvian

Official Language(s): Latvian

Major Languages Spoken: Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian

Map of Latvia

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Latvia

Country Name (short form): Latvia

Country Name (local long form): Latvijas Republika

Country Name (local short form): Latvija

Name of Capital: Riga

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Latvia: Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Estonia

Land Area: 63589 sq km

Water Area: 1000 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly larger than West Virginia

Total Land Boundry: 1,368 km

Coastline: 531 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 18 November (1918); note - 18 November 1918 was the date Latvia declared itself independent from Soviet Russia; 4 May 1990 is when it declared the renewal of independence; 21 August 1991 was the date of de facto independence from the Soviet Union

International Phone Code: 371

Currency Code: Latvian lat (LVL)

Internet Country Code: .lv

US Embassy Location: 7 Raina Boulevard, Riga LV-1510

US Embassy Mailing Address: American Embassy Riga, PSC 78, Box Riga, APO AE 09723


Latvia flag

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