Republic of Latvia

Latvijas Republika

Political Status: Absorption of independent state by the Soviet Union on August 5, 1940, repudiated by the Latvian Supreme Council on May 4, 1990; resumption of full sovereignty declared August 21, 1991, and accepted by USSR State Council on September 6.

Area: 24,938 sq. mi. (64,589 sq. km.).

Population: 2,377,383 (2000C); 2,277,000 (2004E).

Major Urban Centers (2000C): RIGA (764,238), Daugavpils (114,829), Liepaja (89,439).

Official Language: Latvian.

Monetary Unit: Lats (official rate July 1, 2005: 1 lats = $1.74US). (Following its accession to the European Union in 2004, Latvia announced that it hoped to adopt the euro as its national currency by 2008. Meanwhile, the lats was pegged to the euro in January 2005.)

President: Vaira VIKE-FREIBERGA (nonparty); elected by the Saeima on June 17, 1999, and sworn in ...

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