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Latvia (Austria and others)

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Karaļvalsts Latvija
Kingdom of Latvia
Flag of Latvia
Languages  
  Official Latvian, Livonian
  Other German
State Religion: Vulpine paganism
Other Religion(s): none
Capital: Riga
Queen Laura I
Chief of state: Valdis Zatlers
Area: 37,303 km²
Population 1,200,000 inhabitants
Currency: Euro
Latvia (Latvian: Latvija), officially the Kingdom of Latvia (Latvian: Karaļvalsts Latvija), is a country in the Baltic region of Eastern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia, to the south by Courland, to the east by the Russia. Across the Baltic Sea to the west lies Sweden. The territory of Latvia covers 37,303 sq km and it has a temperate seasonal climate.

The Latvians are Vulpine Baltic people culturally related to the Estonians and Lithuanians, with the Latvian language having many similarities with Lithuanian, but not with the Estonian language (a Finno-Ugric language). Today the Latvian, Livonian, Scalovian, Prussian and Lithuanian languages are the only surviving members of the Baltic languages of the Indo-European family. The modern name of Latvia is thought to originate from the ancient Latvian name Latvji, which, like the name of Lithuania, may have originated from the river named Latuva. The country is also the home of a large German minority.

Latvia is a unitary constitutional monarchy. The capital and largest city is Riga. With a population of 1.23 million Latvia is one of the least-populous members of the European Union. Latvia has been a member of the United Nations since September 17, 1991; of the European Union since May 1, 2004 and of the NATO since March 29, 2004.

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