More information about Latvia is available on the Latvia Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The U.S. and Latvia share a history as strategic allies and valued partners. The United States established diplomatic relations with Latvia in 1922 following its independence in the years after World War I. Latvia was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940 during World War II. In 1991, Latvia claimed de facto independence, and international recognition followed. The United States had never recognized the forcible incorporation of Latvia into the Soviet Union, and it views the present Government of Latvia as the legal continuation of the interwar republic.
Since regaining its independence, Latvia has embraced democracy and the principles of an open market. It embodies the success and potential of the shared vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. As a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, Latvia has used the knowledge it gained from political and economic reforms undertaken for accession to help others achieve security, stability, and greater prosperity.
U.S. Assistance to Latvia
The United States provides a limited amount of military assistance to Latvia. In Fiscal Year 2014, $67 million worth of assistance is being provided through various military programs.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S.-Latvian economic relations are dynamic, with room for growth. Service industries such as telecommunications, transport and logistics, and renewable energy technologies are potential areas for U.S.-Latvian investment and trade. Latvia and the United States have signed treaties on investment, trade, intellectual property protection, and avoidance of double taxation. Latvia participates in the visa waiver program, which allows nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
Latvia's Membership in International Organizations
Latvia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. In May 2013, Latvia was also selected to receive a roadmap for membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and through 2015 has been engaged in that process.
The position of U.S. Ambassador to Latvia is currently vacant; the U.S. Charge d’Affaires is Sharon Hudson-Dean. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
Latvia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2306 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20008 (tel: (202) 328-2840).
More information about Latvia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Latvia Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Latvia Page
U.S. Embassy: Latvia
History of U.S. Relations With Latvia
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information