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Latvia: Preface
Country Study > Preface


Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania: Country Studies is the latest in a new subseries examining the fifteen newly independent states that emerged from the disintegration of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991. Hitherto, aside from their coverage in the 1991 Soviet Union: A Country Study, none had received individual treatment in the Country Studies/Area Handbook series. This volume aims to provide an overview of the history, Soviet legacy, and post-Soviet development of the Baltic states, whose first modern period of independence (1918-40) was a casualty of the 1939 Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. The authors describe the quest of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania for self-determination, their struggle to reestablish independent statehood, and their attempts to cope with the political, economic, and social problems confronting them in the 1990s.

Transliteration of all Slavic names generally follows the system developed by the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Conventional English-language variants, such as Moscow and Yeltsin (rather than Moskva and Yel'tsin), are used when appropriate. Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian names appearing in the text of this volume regrettably are missing some diacritics because the typesetting software being used cannot produce all the necessary diacritics (although they do appear on the maps). Measurements are given in the metric system; a conversion table is provided in the Appendix.

The body of the text reflects information available as of January 1995. Certain other portions of the text, however, have been updated. The Introduction discusses significant events and changes that have occurred since the completion of research; the Chronology, Country Profiles, and Glossary include updated information as available; and the Bibliography lists recently published sources thought to be particularly helpful to the reader.

Data as of January 1995

Last Updated: January 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Latvia was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Latvia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

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