A Latvia town on the river

Latvia is a country in Northern Europe that borders Estonia and Lithuania. The capital of Lativa is Riga. Formed from one of four eastern Baltic tribes, Latvia has been under the control of Germans, Poles, Swedes, and finally, Russians. The Republic of Latvia was established in 1918, but it was later annexed by the USSR in 1940. Latvia reestablished its independence in 1991.

Latvia is a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. The President holds a primarily ceremonial role as Head of State. Executive power is exercised by the government.

On 13 January 2009, there were severe riots in Riga, with protesters attacking the building of the parliament. The President Valdis Zatlers gave an ultimatum to parties, saying that should they not agree on constitutional amendments about the dissolution of the Saeima, he would dissolve the parliament by the end of March. After background talks and a failed vote of no confidence, PM Ivars Godmanis chose to resign in late February. On the 26 February, Zatlers nominated the candidate of New Era Party, MEP Valdis Dombrovskis to the post of prime minister. After talks, on 4 March 2009 five parties confirmed their participation in the coalition: New Era, People's Party, Union of Greens and Peasants, For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK, and Civic Union.

An early parliamentary election was held in Latvia on 17 September 2011, following the country's first parliamentary dissolution referendum held on 23 July 2011. The last parliamentary election was held only in October 2010.

Europa: European Countries – Latvia

CIA World Factbook: Lativa

The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

The Parliament - Saeima

The President of the Republic of Lativa

The US Embassy in Latvia

Embassy of The Republic of Latvia to The USA


Ministry of Education and Science

National Library of Latvia


Official Latvian Tourism Development Agency

National History Museum of Latvia


Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection: Latvia

Language and Literature

The Latvian Institute: Latvian Literature


Latvian cooking and cuisine


The Latvian Foundation