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. Security Assistance to Latvia
The U.S. Department of State also provides security assistance to Latvia, including Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) funding. The Department of State provided approximately $19 million in Fiscal Year 2020 in security assistance to Latvia.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S.-Latvian economic relations are dynamic, with room for growth. Service industries such as telecommunications, transport and logistics, and information technology 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 Economic Cooperation and Development, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
The U.S. Ambassador to Latvia is John L. Carwile; 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: