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Latvia (Latvija) is a country on the Baltic Sea (Baltoscandia, as a part of northern European geopolitical map); its capital is Riga (population nearly 700,000 in 2015). Latvia is a parliamentary republic and since May 2004 has been a member of the European Union. Its area is nearly 64,580 km2 and is bordered by Estonia, Lithuania, Russian Federation, Belarus, and Sweden (by a maritime border). The estimated population of Latvia in 2015 was just under 2 million inhabitants, including 61% ethnic Latvians and 26.2% Russians, along with Belorussians, Ukranians, Jews, Roma, and others. The Latvian language belongs to the Indo-European group of Baltic languages.

Early History

During the 13th century, lands populated by Baltic tribes of Lettigalians, Livs, Semigalians, and others were all conquered by the German ...

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