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The Baltic peoples first settled in Latvia around 2000.B.C.. An agrarian society, isolated from most of Euorpe, they nevertheless traded amber with the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and Germany. Beginning in 1201, German crusaders subjugated and Christianized Latvia and founded Riga as a German city. The collapse of the German crusading orders in 1562 brought incessant warfare. Finally in 1710, Russian conquered Latvia and then held it for two centuries. In 1918, Latvia became independent and remained so until forcibly annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Mass deportations began. Conquered by the Germans in 1941, re-annexed by the Soviet Union in 1945, Latvians struggled to maintain their cultural and linguistic autonomy for the next half a century. On August 21, 1991, Latvia regained its independence from the Soviet Union. Latvia today is a member of the United Nations, NATO, European Union, OECD, ECB, IMF and other leading world organizations. Latvia's national day is November 18. In 2018 Latvia will celebrate 100 years since it became an independent state.



Capital city. :     Riga founded in 1201. One third of the population lives in the 

Size:                   25,000 sq.miles - about the size of West Virginia.

Location:           North-East Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia to the   north, Russia to the east, and                                  Lithuania to the south.

Time Zone:       Eastern European Time - EET (GMT +2 hrs).

Population:      1,954,600 (2017) 61% Latvian, 26% Russian, 3.5% Belarusian, 2.3% Ukrainian, 2.2% Polish. In addition,                               450,000 people of Latvian descent live abroad.

Religion:           Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox.

Economy:         Forestry, Pharma, IT, Finance, Logistics, Mech. Eng.

Language:        An lndo-European language belonging to the Baltic Group, around the world approximately 1.5 mil people speak Latvian.

Government:    Democratic parliamentary republic.

Climate:             North European maritime.

Currency:          Euro.

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