The Republic of Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia, to the south by Lithuania, to the east by the Russian Federation, and to the southeast by Belarus. Across the Baltic Sea to the west lies Sweden. The territory of Latvia covers 64,589 km2 (24,938 sq mi) and it has a temperate seasonal climate.
Latvia is a unitary parliamentary republic and is divided into 118 municipalities (109 novadi and nine cities). The capital and largest city is Riga.
Latvia became part of the Russian Empire early in the 18th century. It declared independence in the aftermath of World War I, but was conquered by the Soviet Union during World War II. It regained independence on 6 September 1991.