Latvia Country Details
COUNTRY NAME: Latvia
CAPITAL: Riga (740,000)
NATIVE LANGUAGE: Latvian
OTHER LANGUAGES: Russian, English (Business)
GOVERNMENT: Parliamentary Democracy
AREA : 64,589 sq.km
MONENTARY UNIT: EURO
TYPE OF ECONOMY: Upper-middle-income economy, Ex-Transition country, member of the EU, member of NATO. An economy built around transport activities for goods and petroleum products; Strategic geographical position which allows the country to trade with CIS countries and Europe
FORM OF COUNTRY: Republic
PRESIDENT: Raimonds Vejonis
PRIME MINISTER: Laimdota Straujuma
TIME ZONE: UTC+2
COUNTRY CODE: LV
CALLING CODE: +371
INTERNET TLD: .LV (.EU)
TIME ZONE: EET (UTC+2) EEST (UTC+3)
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES: Metric
Country History in brief
The name “Latvija” comes from the ancient Latgallians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes, who along with Couronians, Selonians and Semigallians formed the ethnic core of today’s Latvian people.
The Republic of Latvia was founded on November 18, 1918. It has been continuously recognized as a sovereign state since 1920 despite occupations and rule by the Soviet Union (1940-1941, 1945-1991) and Nazi Germany (1941-1945).
Latvia reestablished its independence on August 21, 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 28% of the population) remains of concern to Moscow.
Latvia joined the WTO in 1998 and in 2004 became a member of the European Union and NATO.