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Area Codes in Latvia

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Latvia is opposite Gotland on the Baltic coast. After independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Latvia became a member of both the EU and NATO. 2008 - 2010, the country struggled through Europe's worst economic crisis and in the new year 2014, Latvia joined the euro zone.
  • Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Latvia, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.

Geography and climate

Latvia is located on the Baltic Sea between Estonia in the north and Lithuania in the south. In the east the country borders Russia and in the southeast to Belarus. Latvia corresponds to about one-seventh of Sweden's area. The distance to Gotland is about 15 km.

Latvia consists of a small hilly plateau with many rivers that flows into the Baltic Sea, as well as a few thousand lakes, most in the east. A coastal plain stretches along the approximately 50-mile coast to the west. More than half of the country's area is less than 100 meters above sea level and about two-fifths of the country is covered by forest.

Latvia has a changing climate. In the eastern parts of the country it can be described as continental with large temperature differences between summer and winter. In the west it is more maritime. There, the summers are relatively warm and the winters not very cold.

The proximity to the Baltic Sea provides humid air, cloudy and relatively abundant rainfall. It rains most during the latter part of summer and autumn. On the coast in the west, the winter's average temperature is only a few degrees below zero, while it can be more than 30 degrees cold and large amounts of snow against the Russian border in the east.

Geography and climate of Latvia

FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Surface

64 589 km2 (2018)

Time

Swedish + 1 hour

Adjacent country (s)

Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania

Capital with number of inhabitants

Riga 764 300 (2000)

Other major cities

Daugavpils 113,000, Liepaja 87,000, Jelgava 66,000, Jurmala 55,000, Ventspils 44,000 (estimate 2002)

Highest mountain

Gaizinkalns (312 m asl)

Important rivers

Daugava, Venta, Lielupe, Gauja

Largest lake

Lubans, Razna, Engure, Usma, Burtneiks

Average Precipitation / year

Riga 617 mm

Average / day

Riga 17 C (July), -3 C (Jan)

2014

November

The Foreign Minister announces homosexuality

That such a high-ranking person as Edgar Rinkēvič's "come out" is very unusual in the socially strong conservative Latvia, where the prejudice against same-sex relationships is widespread. In the long run, his message is believed to be able to increase acceptance for homosexuals.

Straujuma continues as prime minister

One month after the parliamentary elections, Straujuma gets the assignment to continue leading the government. Most ministers are allowed to keep their posts.

October

The government parties retain a majority

October 4th

The four parties to the last government together get 61 of the 100 seats in the parliamentary elections. Unity retains the position as the government's strongest party and increases from 20 to 23 seats. The Harmonic Center remains the largest party, but backs from 31 seats to 24. Concerns over Russia's possibly aggressive intentions in the Baltic countries are believed to have received many ethnic leanings to leave the Putin-friendly party. Two new parties are able to pass the five percent block: For Latvia from the heart, which among other things profiled in the fight against corruption gets seven seats, and the Latvian Regions Association, which is an association of local small parties, gets eight seats. Voter turnout is the lowest since Latvia regained its independence in 1991, provisionally 58.8 percent. The lowest interest was in the area along the border with Russia and Belarus. (4/10)

July

Russian entertainment artists are stopped

A number of Russian artists are banned from performing in Latvia. Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkēvičs describes them as active propagandists who "aggressively" supported the Russian annexation of Crimea.

Measures against Russian threat

The government decides, with the support of NATO, to open a "strategic communication center" to counter what is perceived as a Russian "information war" directed at Latvia's large Russian minority. The resolution is supported by Parliament, which at the same time approves that defense spending more than doubles by 2020 to achieve NATO's recommendation of at least 2 percent of GDP.

May

Unity greatest in EU elections

The election to the European Parliament is superior to the Unity party, which receives just over 46 percent of the vote. In second place comes the National Alliance, which wins a little more than 14 percent of the vote, while the Harmonic Center receives 13 percent and the League of Green and Peasants more than 8 percent. The last mandate goes to the Latvian Russian Union.

April

Russian TV channel is banned

The Latvian Media Council stops the Russian Russian TV channel Rossija RTR for three months, citing its unbalanced and propagandistic reporting on the conflict in Ukraine. Similar measures are being taken in Lithuania.

March

Concerns after Crimean annexation

In a joint letter, the President, the Prime Minister and the President urge the people to avoid political activities that can create tension and dissatisfaction in society. The statement is to be seen in light of the concern that has arisen in several former Soviet republics with large Russian minorities following Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula. At the same time, Latvia is once again being criticized by the UN Human Rights Committee for discrimination in the labor market by Russian-speaking residents.

Minister gets fired

Prime Minister Straujuma dismisses Minister of the Environment Einārs Cilinskis after announcing his intention to participate in a parade organized by veterans of the Latvian Legion, an organization that, during the Second World War, stood on the side of the German Nazis against the Soviet forces. The annual parade has been regarded by many as a glorification of the SS-led legion.

January

First female prime minister

Agriculture Minister Laimdota Straujuma forms a broad government with four of Parliament's five parties. The only opposition party is the pro-Russian Harmonic Center. The new government is supported by 64 of the 100 members.

Latvia member of the euro zone

Latvia becomes the 18th euro country, when the Latvian currency is allowed at New Year is exchanged for euro. (See Current Politics and Economics)

 

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