of North-Eastern Europe and the middle of the three Baltic states. The Latvian Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States; Latvia's security policy; European Union; Economy;

Diaspora policy; Latvia's centenary img. Discover Latvia holiday and discover the best time and places to visit. Everyday news and reports from Riga, Latvia and the Baltic States. It is the mission of the United States Embassy to represent the interests of the United States and to serve and protect US citizens in Latvia.

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Latvia, one of the worlds greensest country....... Saying that Latvia has untouched countryside is no overstatement, which means that there are many opportunities for eco-friendly holidays, from easy forest strolls to specific offers for birdwatchers, hunting and lovers and nature-lovers. Valuables of Latvia's natural environment are open to everyone, as the most important valuables are the state' s own assets.

Latvijas Latvia - Biography

Latvia, the land of north-eastern Europe and the centre of the three Baltics. Latvia, which was invaded and annihilated by the USA in June 1940, proclaimed on 21 August 1991 its autonomy. In 2004 Latvia was accepted into the Organisation of the NATATO (North Atlantic Treaty) and into the European Union (EU). Situated on the coast of the Gulf of Riga and the Baltics, Latvia is bordered to the west by Estonia, to the west by Russia, to the south by the Republic of Belarus and to the west by Lithuania.

Lettland is basically a hilly plains with relatively shallow plains that alternate with the hill. On the east side of the land is higher, especially the Central Vidzeme Upland, which can reach a height of 311m. To the south-east is Lielais Liepukalns highest point (947 ft (289 m)), which belongs to the area of the National Park R?zna

The lowlands of eastern Latvia lie between the central Vidzeme and the Latvian highlands in the south-east and are partially traversed by morainic backs that hinder dewatering. In Latvia there are many streams that flow into the Baltic Sea. Most of the biggest are the West Dvina, in Latvia the Daugava (with a length of 222 miles[357 km]), the Gauja (Russian: Gauya), the Venta and the Lielupe.

Latvia's soil is predominantly Podzolan, although limestone soil characterizes the Semigallia (Zemgale) plain, which is situated eastwards of the eastern Kurzeme-Hochland. In some areas, especially in the Eastern Latvian Plain, there are marshy grounds. Average temperatures in January range from the top-20sF ( (near -2°C) on the shore to the bottom-20sF (about -7°C) in theheast.

Over half of Latvia is overgrown with woods, grassland, meadows, marshes and wastelands. Latvian wildlife is made up of the squirrel, fox, rabbit, bullhead and badger. Maintenance has led to an increased number of stags and moose and beaver have been re-introduced in Latvia. There are nightingales, blackbirds, blackbirds, woodpeckers, owls, moorhens, partridges, finches, titmouses, quails and orks.

Prior to the 1940 USSR invasion, Latvians represented about three quarters of the country's people. Nowadays, they make up about three out of five of the Russian people, and the Russians make up about a quarter. Latvia's main languages are Latvia, but almost a third of the Russian speaking people. Minor numbers talk Romani, the Indo-Aryan Roma tongue (Gypsies), and Yiddish, a Teutonic one.

Most Latvians profess Christianity - especially Lutheranism, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Approximately a quarter of Latvians do not consider themselves religious. There was a significant number of Jews in Latvia, which in the 1930s was put at over 90,000, until the Russian and Hitler Germans were either expelled to detention centres or concentrate centres or were murdered during the Second World War, when ten thousand Latvians escaped from the area.

At the end of the conflict, only a few thousand Jews were left. After the Second World war the Latvian countryside declined mainly due to bad socio-economic and policy circumstances, while the city' s overall populations continued to grow. In the early 2000s, more than two-thirds of the country's inhabitants were living in city areas. One of Latvia's biggest challenges in the early 1990s was to compensate for the ageing of its people, a serious issue that had already occurred before the country's autonomy and which was largely due to under-represents.

Attempts were also made to raise the proportion of Latvians among the general public by urging them to form bigger populations and by introducing stricter migration control. At the beginning of the twenty-first Century, Latvia had the highest fertility rates in the Baltics and one of the longest expected lives in Europe.

Industrialisation in Latvia began in the second half of the nineteenth and at the end of the twentieth centuries it was the most industrialised of the Baltics. Latvia's sovereignty in 1991, when it became a free enterprise, led to significant changes in the population. From the mid-1990s, the Latvian economies began to diversify and by the beginning of the twenty-first century most of Latvia's industrial sector had been privatised.

Approximately one third of Latvia's farmland is used for the production of food and cattle. Until the period of autonomy in 1991 there were farm kolkhoz (mainly in cereal and combined cultivation) and state enterprises (usually specialized in the growing and working of a certain crop).

Latvia was a net exporter of farm produce during the Sovjet era, albeit on a small scale. 2. Following the privatisation of the farming sector, it was expected that this would increase the level of output and create a favorable commercial account of the raw materials, but due to the difficulties in adapting to the free enterprise and the high costs of capital expenditure, at the beginning of the 90s the share of farming in the GDP was small.

At the beginning of the 21 st cent. the agricultural sector was fully privatised. Latvia's fisheries sector represents only a small proportion of GNP and fishery exports have lost importance. Generally, recreational fisheries have done more to Latvia's total yearly catches from fresh water than industrial fisheries. Latvia's most important natural assets are sands, dolomites, limestones, gypsum, clays and mud.

There are hydroelectric power stations in the west of Dvina. Nevertheless, the state is heavily reliant on imports of fuels. Since the beginning of the twenty-first Century, Latvia has sought to spread its indigenous power resources in order to decrease its dependency on supplies from abroad. At the end of the 90s, the manufacture of furnishings, food, drinks and textile products had superseded mechanical engeneering and the construction of metals as the main branches of industry in Latvia.

Chemical and pharmaceutical production has gained in importance in the twenty-first  century. Latvia used the Rubel as a single exchange rate under USSR domination, but in 1993 it introduced its own single exchange rate, the ?lats. Latvia adopted the single European currency on 1 January 2014. Latvia's central bank is the heart of the bank system.

Latvia's most important trade neighbours are Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Poland and the United Kingdom. Latvias import of machines, oils, food and chemicals. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, services made up the biggest share of Latvia's GNP and employing about one-fifth of the country's population. Latvia's tourism infrastructures, which were practically non-existent in the early 90s, made a small contribution to GNP.

Tourism accommodation was improved in the early 2000s, but Latvia's infrastructures were still insufficient to cope with the flow of people. Latvia's favorable geographical position and moderate weather make year-round cargo transportation possible. There is an east-west railways' rail route which makes it possible to easily carry goods from the Latvian interior to the most important harbours.

Latvia's telecoms industry is partly nationalised. Mobile use in Latvia is much higher than that of a landline. Latvia's 1922 Charter provided for a single-chambered parliamentary system, the Saeima. Latvia was a Soviet Union country from 1940 to 1991.

Latvia proclaimed on 21 August 1991 its soviet sovereignty, which the Soviet Union recognised soon afterwards, and the 1922 Treaty was overturned. The governing system in Latvia is the same. There are 26 self-governing Rajon (districts) in Latvia. With so many decentralised authorities, many are lacking in staff and resources, and the Estonian authorities have tried to strengthen the management structures of the state.

Latvia's justice system consists of local court, local court and a Supreme Court. Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia was founded in 1994 and began its sessions in 1996. It is responsible for areas such as securing the constitutional character of draft bills and supranational treaties and securing the conformity of domestic law with covenants.

The right to vote is open to all Latvians over 18 years of age. As part of the government's efforts to maintain and enhance the predominance of Latvia's cultural identity in the face of the large non-ethnic population of Latvia, those who want to become Latvians must take a test of their ability to speak it.

Up until the end of the 1980', when several pro-democracy groups formed the popular front of Latvia, the Communist Party of Latvia (Latvijas Komunistu Partija; LKP), like its pendants in the other Soviet Union republics, was the sole sources of central government under the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Non-Latvians (mainly Russians and other Slavs) and Russian Latvians who had spent much of their life in Russia ruled the group. At the end of the eighties, the Communist Republic's powers began to be weakened, and in 1990 Latvia introduced a multi-party system. In 1991 the Communist Partys were banned and many new and revitalized political groups emerged under the Popular Front.

Thus, Latvia's post-independence post-war policy scene was complicated. There was some public backing for the 1988 establishment of the National Movement for Independent Citizenship, but there were also many other factions that wanted to expand their memberships. In the 1890s, general alphabetization was attained in Latvia. An educational act of 1998 guaranteed a certain level of teaching in Latvia's ethnic minorities.

But state funding is provided to minorities teaching Belarusian, Estonian, Hebrew, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian and Ukrainian in order to conserve the inheritance and civilization of every group. The most important universities are the University of Latvia (1919), the University of Agriculture (1939) and the Technical University of Riga (1990).

Riga Academy of Sciences (1946) is one of the country's leading research institutions. As Latvia was largely ruled and ruled by neighboring forces during much of its entire past, it had to fight to maintain its unmistakable languages, folk music and traditions. Latvia's thirteenth-hundred years of losing its sovereignty have been an effective stop to the cultural evolution of Latvia for hundreds of years.

Only since the end of the nineteenth centuary have Latvians been able to commemorate their own culture in an open and active manner. Most of the dancing, musical and singing festivities are staged in colorful outfits that are characteristic of certain parts of the state. The basic foods of Lithuanian cooking are: wwww. sires ( "caraway cheese"), lard, grapes, potatoes, sausage, soup and rice bage.

There is no doubt that the Lettish folksong or dana is the core of Latvia's music. Andrei Pumpur's Lacplesis (1888; Bearslayer) novel was influenced by this style, as was the work of Rainis (pseudonym of J?nis Pliek??ns; 1865-1929), one of Latvia's great writers. With the beginning of the "national upheaval" in the middle of the 19th centrury, the Latvians gained their own creative autonomy and for the first reason founded an artists' group in Riga.

One of the most important poets of this age was Mikus Krogzemis, who adopted the alias Auseklis, a mythological deity. Janis Rozent?ls and Vilhelms Purv?tis were some of the most famous Lithuanian artists of that age, while Andrejs Jurj?ns and Jazeps V?tols were the most respected symphony writers of that age. Riga, the main centre of Latvia's culture, is the country's capitol.

Well-known all over the world are the National Symphony Orchestra of Latvia (1926) and the National Opera of Latvia. Riga Theatre was founded in 1868, during the so-called Neo-Latvian movements of the 1860' and 1970', when Latvians tried to develop their industrial, commercial and artistic nationalities. At the beginning of the twentieth c. the Estonian Dance became famous and the National Dance was opened in Riga in 1932; among his pupils were Mikhail Baryshnikov and Alexander Godunov.

One of the oldest open-air museum in Europe is the Open Art Museum of Latvia (1924). Bauska Castle Museum, in the south of Latvia near the Lithuania Borders, is located in the 1443 castle erected by the Order of the Sword Brothers. Latvia's climates promote ski, and bobsleigh, ski, skate and skate are well-loved.

Canoing on the Gauja and Abava River and the Latgale Lake is a nationwide activity, as is birdwatching in the country. Latvia's Baltic Sea coastline is the scene of many tourist spots and its shores are favourite tourist spots from all over Europe. At the 1924 Winter Games in Chamonix, France, Latvia had its first Olympics performance.

Latvia's competitors contested for the USSR after the Second World War. In 1992 Latvia participated in the 1992 Olympics for the first year since 1936 as an autonomous state. Previously, the mass media was in state ownership and under the control of the Communist Party, mainly by stateensors. Latvia's printed press is subdivided into Latvia and Russia.

Diena ("Day"), a newspaper started in 1990, is written in Latvia. Latvijas Telegraphs ( "Latvijas" Telegr?fa A?ent?ra; LETA) is the Czech Republic's newscast. Broadcasters in the Czech Republic mainly provide programmes in Latvia, Russia and England, but a 1998 Act requires at least half of the programmes to be of EU descent and at least two-fifths to be transmitted in it.

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