Nation profile for Latvia

Map of Latvia

Located in northeastern Europe, Latvia shares borders with Estonia, Russia, Belarus, and Lithuania. It also has a coastline that runs along the Baltic Sea. It shares linguistic ties with Lithuania to the south and historical and religious ties with Estonia to the north.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Latvia regained its independence, and less than ten years later, it joined the European Union and NATO.

For many years, Latvia's economy was primarily based on agriculture, with significant contributions from the sea, fishing, and forestry.

Similar to its Baltic neighbors, Latvia has quickly embraced the free market since the early 1990s. The euro became its official currency in 2014.

Russian propaganda campaigns in this community, which is home to about 24 percent of the population and is a source of worry for the Latvian government, are a problem. Lativa has outlawed all Russian broadcast channels ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

  • in capital letters. Riga.
  • Area:. 64,589 sq km.
  • Population:. 1.08 billion.
  • Languages:. Livonian and Latvian are also spoken.
  • duration of life: 80 years for women and 70 years for men.

Egils Levits is the current president.

Latvia's President Egils Levits

Following his victory in the May 2019 presidential election, Egil Levits was elected president in July 2019.

Levits has backed initiatives to limit the use of Russian in Latvia, such as a ban on universities offering courses in languages other than the EU's official languages. He has reiterated that in order to become a citizen of Latvia, Russian nationals must pass a Latvian literacy test.

Despite typically being a ceremonial position, the president of Latvia has some discretion when proposing the prime minister for parliamentary approval. He or she can also veto legislation and call referendums.

Arturs Krisjanis Karins is the current prime minister.

Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krisjanis Karins
The US was the place of Mr. Krisjanis Karins' birth.

A coalition of five conservative and liberal parties, excluding the pro-Russian Harmony party, which had emerged as the largest bloc in parliament following the October 2018 elections, elected Arturs Krisjanis Karins as prime minister in January 2019.

Mr. Karins, whose parents were Latvian immigrants to the US state of Delaware, graduated with a doctorate in linguistics before moving to Latvia and starting a business.

He was chosen as a representative for the center-right New Era Party in the 2002 parliamentary elections. He later held the position of economy minister before being elected to the European Parliament.

At the 2018 election, he was running for prime minister on the conservative Unity party's slate.

Almost no laws restrict how the media can operate. Libel and the incitement of racial hatred are both punishable by imprisonment under the law.

Newspapers, which are all privately owned, represent a range of political viewpoints. There has been a decline in the circulation of many books.

A few significant occasions in Latvian history are:.

Latvia's Freedom Monument
Latvia's fight for independence between 1917 and 1920 is remembered by the Freedom Monument in Riga.

1800s . - Russia controls Latvia.

1917-20. - The Latvian War of Independence. Latvia battles the Soviet Russian and German armies for its independence after the Russian Revolution.

1920 . - Soviet Russia acknowledges the independence of Latvia.

1940 . - Along with Latvia's neighbors, Estonia and Latvia, the Soviet Union annexes the three countries. Then there are mass expulsions to Siberia and Central Asia.

1941 . - The invasion of Nazi Germany. Nazi death squads and Latvian paramilitary groups murder about 70,000 Jews in Latvia.

1944 . Return of the Soviet Army signals new waves of deportations and suppression of opposition to Soviet rule.

1991 . - The return of independence.

2004 . - Latvia joins NATO and the European Union.

2014 . - Latvia joins the eurozone.

Skyline of the Latvian capital Riga
Between 1940 and 1991, the Soviet Union occupied Latvia.

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