Timeline Latvia / Livonija

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Remnants of the Liv tribe (Livonians), a coastal Finno-Ugric group, live in Mazirbe, Latvia.
    (CNT, 3/04, p.145)(www.virmus.com)

365Mil BC    In 2008 scientists unearthed a skull, dating to about this time, of the most primitive four-legged creature in Earth's history, which should help them better understand the evolution of fish to advanced animals that walk on land. The fossil skull, shoulders and part of the pelvis of the water-dweller, Ventastega curonica, were found in Latvia.
    (AP, 6/25/08)

1190s        After trade was established between Germany and Livonia the German missionary Meingard, later made bishop, preached among the Livonians and converted a good number.
    (H of L, 1931, p.25)

1198        A German Bishop shipped up the Baltic with armed forces and attacked the native people of Livonia. The attack was repulsed.
    (Ist. L.H., 1948, p.39-40)

1200        Bishop Albert was selected leader of the Knights of the Cross. He led 23 ships of armed soldiers up the Baltic to Livonian lands at the mouth of the Dauguva River.
    (Ist. L.H., 1948, p.39-40)

1201        The Germans founded the city of Riga in Livonia, now Latvia, and built a castle  under the direction of Bishop Albert, leader of the Knights of the Cross.
    (Ist. L.H., 1948, p.39-40)

1211        In Latvia construction began on Riga’s Lutheran Cathedral.
    (SSFC, 7/22/07, p.G5)

1228        A record in the Livonian Statute of A.D. 1228 stated that the death penalty will be imposed on those attempting to debase silver by adding to it even 1/16 part of other base metals. This is the reason why silver bar kapas / roubles, whenever found in Baltic States, are always nearly pure.
    (VilNews, 12/17/10)

1249        Feb 7, The Christburg Peace Treaty forced the Prussians to recognize the rule of the Teutonic Knights. Within about 50 years the Teutonic Knights and Knights of the Cross had overcome most of Prussia and established German as the dominant culture and language. The German orders then turned to Lithuania.
    (H of L, 1931, p.25)(LHC, 2/7/03)

1261        Feb 3, Samogitian fighters defeated the Livonian Knights of the Cross at Lielvarde.
    (LHC, 2/3/03)

1263        Feb 9, A Lithuania army under Treniota defeated the Livonian Knights of the Cross.
    (LHC, 2/9/03)

1270        Feb 16, In the Karusa Ice war in Estonia, Lithuanian forces defeated the Livonian Knights of the Cross.
    (LHC, 2/16/03)

1279          Mar 5, Lithuanians overcame Livonian forces at Aizkraukle.
    (LHC, 3/5/03)

1297        The people of Riga rose against the Teutonic Knights. The local Bishop asked Vytenis of Lithuania to help and the Knights were pushed back. This opened a northern trade route for Vytenis for weapons and supplies.
    (Ist. L.H., 1948, p. 50)

1298        Mar 30, Duke Vytenis joined with Riga and its archbishop against the Livonian order.
    (LHC, 3/30/03)

1324        Feb 10, The pope officially chastised the Knights of the Cross for ill treatment of Catholics and for pushing pagans away from Christianity.
    (LHC, 2/10/03)

1330        Mar 23, Riga surrendered to the Livonian Order.
    (LHC, 3/23/03)

1336          Feb 25, The Knights of the Cross sieged the Pilenai Castle in Samogitia. The defenders burned all their goods and committed suicide.
    (LHC, 2/25/03)

1361        Mar 21, Grand duke Kestutis was captured by the Knights of the Cross.
    (LHC, 3/21/03)

1402          Mar 2, In Marienburg Svitrigaila crossed over to the Knights of the Cross and promised to uphold the Salyn treaty that was broken by Vytautas.
    (LHC, 3/1/03)

1416        Feb 6, A Samogitian complaint against the Knights of the Cross was read at the Catholic Church Council at Constance.
    (LHC, 2/6/03)

1416        Feb 13, A Lithuanian and Polish delegation read their grievances against the Teutonic Knights at the Church Council at Constance.
    (LHC, 2/13/03)

1501          Mar 1, Lithuania and Livonia established a 10-year union for protection against Russia.
    (LHC, 3/1/03)

1561        Poland-Lithuania gaining control over Livonia. In response Sweden seized the territory of Estonia with the major port of Reval.  Denmark, also invested in the war, seized the Livonian Islands.
    (http://tinyurl.com/bngyy)

1562         Mar 4,The Archdiocese of Riga was attached to Lithuania.
    (LHC, 3/4/03)

1569        Jul 1, Latvia Parliament accepted the Union of Lublin and was incorporated into Poland.
    (MC, 7/1/02)

1581        Jan 14, The city of Riga joined the Polish-Lithuanian union.
    (LHC, 1/14/03)

1582        Jan 15, Russia ceded Livonia and Estonia to Poland, and lost access to Baltic.
    (MC, 1/15/02)

1605        Sep 27, Jan Karol Chodkiewicz (1560-1621), Lithuanian Hetman (Jonas Karolis Katkevičius-Katkus), led Lithuanian and Polish forces to victory against a Swedish army at Kircholm, Latvia. Chodkiewicz carried the day in a victory that, taking into account the disparity of power and strategic result, was huge. It is estimated that 6000 Swedes died. Sweden’s King Charles IX was wounded.
    (www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/images/kircholm_27_sept.htm)

1651        Oct 26, Courlander Gambia was established as a Latvian colony.
    (http://www.vdiest.nl/gambia.htm)

1700          Feb 22, Augustus II (the Strong), elector of Saxony (1694-1733) and King of Poland (1697-1706, 1709-1733), with the help of the Saxon army attacked Swedish controlled Riga. This began the Northern War (1700-1721).
    (LHC, 2/22/03)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_II_the_Strong)

1840        Cheap land in Russia, Siberia and the far East promoted Latvian immigration and by WW I some 500 ethnic colonies were established. Half of these were in Bashkiria and Siberia.
    (BN, 10/96, p.1)

1877        The 1st passenger train from Riga, Latvia, reached the beach town of Jurmala. By 1911 a direct route reached to Moscow.
    (CNT, 3/04, p.150)

1898        Jan 10, Sergei M. Eisenstein (d.1948), Russian director (Alexandr Nevski) [OS], was born in Riga, Latvia. He became a renowned film director in Russia. In 1999 Ronald Bergan published the biography: "Sergei Eisenstein: A Life In Conflict."
    (SFEC, 5/2/99, BR p.1,10)(MC, 1/10/02)

1899        Rudolf Heinrich Zirkwitz designed a building in Riga in the Art Nouveau style that in 1997 housed the Latvian insurance firm Riga-Phoenix.
    (BN, 7/97, p.6)

1901-1912    George Armistead (1847-1912), a British citizen, served as mayor of Riga, Latvia.
    (www.riga-cd.infolatvia.com/notes/note0505.html)

1903        Sep 25, Mark Rothko (d.1970), [Marcus Rothkovich] US émigré painter (Green on Blue), was born in Dvinsk, Russia, later Daugavpils, Latvia. His family moved to Portland, Ore. in 1913. His work included "Subway" (1936/1939), "Street Scene" (1936/1938), "Untitled" (1942), "Untitled" (1942/1943), "Phalanx of the Mind" (1945), "The Source" (1946), "Sacrificial Moment" (1946), "Number 18" (1948), and "Untitled" (1945-1946).
    (V.D.-H.K.p.362)(SFC,1/21/97, p.B1,2)(AP, 11/11/03)   

1904        Abram Games (1914-1996), master of graphic arts, received the Order of the British Empire in 1958 for his WW II posters. His parents were Latvian immigrants from 1904.
    (SFC, 9/27/96, p.A24)

1905        Walter Zapp (d.2003) was born in 1905 in Riga, Latvia. He later invented the Minox mini camera which was featured in spy movies. Zapp died in Switzerland.
    (AP, 7/28/03)

1905        Mihails Eizensteins, the premier Art Nouveau architect of Latvia, built a mansion in Riga. In 1997 it housed the Latvian campus of the Stockholm School of Economics.
    (BN, 7/97, p.6)

1905        Peteris Kuzis (aka Janis Berzins) was active in the Communist Revolution in Latvia. He was caught by the czarist police but spared due to being under 18.
    (BN, 10/96, p.1)

1909        Jun 6, Isaiah Berlin (d.1997) was born in Riga. He became a professor at Oxford and wrote numerous essays on the history of political ideas and concepts of liberty. The family moved to Britain in 1919.
    (SFC,11/6/97, p.C14)

1914-1919    Some 850,000 Latvians moved to Russia to escape the war zone. In the ensuing war some 300,000 Latvians died.
    (BN, 10/96, p.1)

1915        The Latvian rifleman regiments were originally formed to defend Riga from the Germans and liberate rest of the Latvian land.
    (http://tinyurl.com/krxwaky)

1917        Sep 3, German troops overran Riga Latvia.
    (MC, 9/3/01)

1917        Sep 17, The German Army recaptured the Russian [Latvian] Port of Riga from Russian forces.
    (HN, 9/17/98)

1917        Karlis Ulmanis founded the Farmer’s Party. He later became president and is considered by many as the “father of independent Latvia.”
    (BN, 10/97, p.1)

1918        Jan 19, The Latvian rifleman 6th Tukums regiment, sent to defend the Bolshevik headquarters in Smolny institute in St. Petersburg, took part in disbanding Russia’s Constituent Assembly.
    (http://tinyurl.com/krxwaky) 

1918        Feb 15, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania adopted the Gregorian calendar.
    (440 Int’l., 2/15/99)

1918        Feb 22, Germany claimed the Baltic states, Finland and Ukraine from Russia.
    (MC, 2/22/02)

1918          Mar 3, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World War I. Germany and Austria forced Soviet Russia to sign the Peace of Brest, which called for the establishment of 5 independent countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World War I, was annulled by the November 1918 armistice. The treaty deprived the Soviets of White Russia.
    (HN, 3/3/99)(LHC, 3/1/03)(AP, 3/3/08)

1918        Apr 13, The Soviet Wartime and people’s commissariat issued an order to form Latvian Soviet rifleman division. The commander in charge was Jukums Vacietis. It was one of the first divisions in the Red Army.
    (http://tinyurl.com/krxwaky)

1918        Nov 13, Soviet Russia annulled the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty.
    (http://tinyurl.com/krxwaky)

1918        Dec 11, Latvia proclaimed independence.
    (LC, 1998, p.30)

1918-1939    During the period of Baltic independence some 236,000 Latvians returned from Russia.
    (BN, 10/96, p.1)

1919        Jan 5, British ships shelled the Bolshevik headquarters in Riga.
    (HN, 1/5/99)

1921        Apr 9, Russo-Polish conflict ended with the signing of the Riga Treaty.
    (HN, 4/9/98)

1926        A Soviet census indicated that 202,000 persons living in the USSR called themselves “Latvians.”
    (BN, 10/96, p.1)

1933-1945    In 2008 Latvian filmmaker Edvins Snore, directed “Soviet Story.” It shows the close connections—philosophical, political and organizational—between the Nazi and Soviet systems beginning in 1933 thru WWII.
    (www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11401983)

1934        Sep 12, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania signed the Baltic Entente in Geneva against the USSR.
    (LC, 1998, p.24)(MC, 9/12/01)

1935        Latvia erected its Freedom Monument, a 42-metre (138 ft) high structure in Riga, as a  symbol of resistance to foreign rule.
    (Reuters, 2/19/08)

1936        Peteris Kuzis led a volunteer battalion against fascism in Spain.
    (BN, 10/96, p.2)

1937        Jan, Peteris Kuzis received an “Order of Lenin” medal for his service in Spain.
    (BN, 10/96, p.2)

1937        Nov, Peteris Kuzis was called to the Kremlin and denounced as a spy. He was arrested and executed.
    (BN, 10/96, p.2)

1939        Mar 22, Germany marched into Klaipeda (Memel), Lithuania. The Lithuanian warship Prezidentas Smetona was left without a harbor. The ship soon settled at Latvia’s port of Liepaja. In December Ltn. P. Labanauskas was named captain. In 1940 Soviet occupiers called for the ship to raise the Soviet flag, but Captain Labanauskas sailed the ship out of Soviet territory. The ship was later handed over to the Soviet Baltic fleet. On Jan 11, 1945, it hit a mine and sank off the coast of Finland.        
    (Voruta #27-28, Jul 1996, p.2)(http://tinyurl.com/cs545k)

1939        Aug 23, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav M. Molotov signed a Treaty of Non-Aggression, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact freeing Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin to invade Finland. Secret protocols, made public years later, were added that assigned Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Bessarabia to be within the Soviet sphere of influence. Poland was partitioned along the rivers Narev, Vistula and San. Germany retained Lithuania enlarged by the inclusion of Vilnius. Just days after the signing, Germany invaded Poland, and by the end of September, both powers had claimed sections of Poland.
    (WP, 6/29/96, p.A16)(AP, 8/23/97) (HNPD, 8/22/98)(HN, 8/23/98)

1939        Oct 5, The Soviets signed a mutual defense pact with Latvia that allowed 30,000 troops to be stationed there.
    (DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)

1939        The USSR census indicated 126,000 Latvians.
    (BN, 10/96, p.1)

1940        Jun 17, The Soviet Union occupied Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
    (HN, 6/17/98)

1940        Jun 18, Soviet occupation was completed.
    (DrEE, 10/26/96, p.4)

1940        Jul 21, The new USSR-organized parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania held simultaneous sessions. They declared their countries to be soviet socialist republics and applied for admission to the USSR.
    (www.historycommission.ee/temp/conclusions_frame.htm)

1940        Aug 3, The Supreme Soviet officially registered the acceptance of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the USSR.
    (SC, 8/3/02)(www.historycommission.ee/temp/conclusions_frame.htm)

1940        Aug 25, The ‘parliaments’ of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania declared themselves ‘provisional Supreme Soviets’ and adopted new constitutions that were composed according to the example of the constitutions of already existing union republics of the USSR.
    (www.historycommission.ee/temp/conclusions_frame.htm)

1940        Aug, The Armies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were reorganized as territorial rifle corps of the Red Army and placed under the control of the political leaders of the Red Army.
    (www.historycommission.ee/temp/conclusions_frame.htm)

1941        Apr 18, In the village of Audrini, Latvia, Boleslavs Maikovskis, chief of police for the second precinct of Rezekne, ordered the arrest of all the 200-300 people in the village after Soviet partisans shot and killed several policemen. He also ordered every house to be burned down. 200 villagers were then executed, but he claimed to have nothing to do with the slaughter. He was charged with mass murder in Germany and his trial began in 1988 but in Feb 1994 the court ruled that he was too frail to continue.
    (SFC, 5/8/96, p.C-2)

1941        Jun 14, The Russian secret police gathered up some 40,000 men, women and children and exiled them to Siberia in cattle cars. This was the first of many shipments. Some 10,000 Estonians, more than 15,000 Latvians and between 16,000 and 18,000 Lithuanians were herded onto cattle trains and transported to the far eastern reaches of the Soviet Union, where many of them died.
    (WP, 6/29/96, p.A16)(http://tinyurl.com/5jxmas)

1941        Jul 4, Latvia partisans shot 416 Jews dead.
    (Maggio)

1941        Jul 8, All Jews living in Baltic States were obligated to wear Star of David.
    (MC, 7/8/02)

1941        Oct 14, The 1st mass deportations took place at Kovno, Lodz, Minsk & Riga.
    (MC, 10/14/01)

1941        Nov 29, In Riga the Nazis separated the men over 16 from their families. That night half the ghetto population were massacred.
    (SFEC, 11/1/98, p.A15)

1941        Dec 1-7, During the first week of the month some 20-30,000 Jews were taken by the Nazis from the Riga ghetto to nearby Rumbuli forest, shot and buried in mass graves. In 2000 Konrad Kalejs (86) fled Britain to Australia under allegations that he was linked to the murder of over 30,000 people, mostly Jews, in Latvia. In 2000 Latvia and Australia signed an extradition treaty.
    (SFEC, 11/1/98, p.A14)(SFC, 1/7/00, p.D3)(SFC, 7/15/00, p.A13)

1941        Dec 8-9, A final sweep of the Jewish ghetto in Riga resulted in over 800 bodies burned and thrown into a mass grave at a cemetery next to the ghetto. These events were later recalled in the book “Endless Miracles,” by survivor Jack Ratz, who was 14 at the time, but went with the men on Nov 29.
    (SFEC, 11/1/98, p.A15)

1941        The Germans seized Latvia and many Latvians joined the Nazi ranks. The Latvian Legion was formed under the German Waffen SS and its 2 divisions helped prolong the war by defeating the Soviet Army in several battles. Viktors Arajs headed the feared Kommando unit that was responsible for war crimes against Jews.
    (SFC, 4/8/98, p.A14)

1941-1942    Nearly 80,000 Jews, or 90% of Latvia's prewar Jewish population, were killed during this period.
    (AP, 3/16/11)

1941-1944    In Latvia Herbert Cukurs (b.1900) served as a deputy to the leader of the Arajs Commando, an auxiliary police unit formed after German forces captured Latvia. The unit played a central role in the near annihilation of Latvia's Jewish community. After the war Cukurs fled to South America where Mossad agents assassinated him in Uruguay in 1965.
    (AP, 10/30/14)
1941-1944    About 250,000 Latvians fought alongside either the Germans or the Soviets during this period. Some 150,000 Latvians died in the fighting.
    (AP, 3/16/11)

1943        Nov 2, Jewish ghetto of Riga, Latvia, was destroyed.
    (MC, 11/2/01)

1944        Mar 27, Forty Jewish policemen were shot in the Riga Latvia ghetto by the Gestapo.
    (HN, 3/27/98)

1944        Oct 13, Riga, Latvia, was freed.
    (MC, 10/13/01)

1944        The Communists regained control of Latvia. They sent the captured members of the Latvian Legion, who had fought under the German Waffen SS, to prison camps in Siberia.
    (SFC, 4/8/98, p.A14)

1944        Vasily Kononov (21) led a small band of pro-Soviet partisans in Latvia. He was arrested in 1998 for ordering the execution of 9 civilians in the village of Mazie Bati, whom he suspected of pro-Nazi sympathies, but maintained his innocence. In 2000 Latvia sentenced Kononov to 6 years in prison but he was soon freed pending further investigation. Russian president Vladimir Putin granted Kononov Russian citizenship.
    (SFC, 4/26/00, p.A16)

1944-1956    Some 180,000 Latvians were sent to Siberia in the years immediately following the war. Some deportees were allowed to filter back after the death of Stalin and the beginning of Khrushchev’s “thaw.”
    (BN, 10/96, p.2)

1947        Feb 27, Gidon Kremer, violinist (Tchaikovsky Prize 1970), was born in Riga, Latvia.
    (MC, 2/27/02)

1948        Jan 16, Anatoli Yakovlevich Solovyov, cosmonaut (TM-5,9,15,26, STS 71), was born in Riga, Latvia.
    (MC, 1/16/02)

1948        Jan 27, Mikhail Baryshnikov, ballet dancer, was born in Riga,  Latvia.
    (MC, 1/27/02)

1950        Apr 8, A US Navy Privateer airplane flew from Wiesbaden, West Germany, to spy over the Soviet Union with 10 people on board. Soviet reconnaissance spotted the plane over Latvia and shot it down.
    (SFEC,12/21/97, p.A26)(www.coldwar.org/articles/50s/baltic_incident.html)

1958        Ludmilla Chiriaeff (1924-1996), Latvian-born dance pioneer, founded the Les Grandes Ballets Canadians.
    (SFC, 9/24/96, p.B2)

1961        An experimental nuclear reactor was built at Salapilis. It was closed in 1998.
    (BN, 10/98, p.6)

1965         Feb 23, Mossad agents in Uruguay assassinated Herbert Cukurs, a former deputy to the leader of the Latvian Arajs Commando, an auxiliary police unit formed after German forces captured Latvia. The unit had played a central role in the near annihilation of Latvia's Jewish community.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herberts_Cukurs)(AP, 10/30/14)

1971        The top secret Russian Skrunda radar station was opened.
    (BN, 10/98, p.1)

1983        Andrew Ezergailis authored “The Latvian Impact on the Bolshevik Revolution.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Ezergailis)

1986        Einars Repse graduated from Latvia State Univ. in physics and became a founding member of the Latvian Popular Front.
    (WSJ, 12/11/02, p.B5B)

1986        A citizen’s forum was organized by Mikhail Gorbachev in Jurmala, Latvia. 2,000 handpicked Communists faced 220 Americans on televised debates shown to the Soviet public.
    (SFEC, 9/15/96, Parade p.22)

1988        The mass production of kvass, a popular traditional drink made of stale rye, sugar and yeast, ceased. Popularity of the drink made a comeback in 1997.
    (WSJ, 9/8/00, p.A17)

1989        Aug 23, Approximately two million people joined their hands to form an over 600 km (373 mi) long human chain across the three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This original demonstration was organized to draw the world's attention to the common historical fate which these three countries suffered. It marked the 50th anniversary of August 23, 1939, when the Soviet Union and Germany in the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact divided spheres of interest in Eastern Europe, which led to the occupation of these three states.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Way)

1990        Mar 19, Latvia's political opposition claimed victory in the republic's first free elections in 50 years, and reformers also claimed victories in crucial runoffs held in Russia, Byelorussia and Ukraine.
    (AP, 3/19/00)

1990        May 4, Latvia's parliament voted 138-0 (1 abstention) for Independence. The Russophone Ravnopraviye (Equal Rights Movement) boycotted this resolution by walking out of parliament.
    (http://countrystudies.us/latvia/20.htm)

1990        May 12, The presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania forged a united front by reviving a 1934 political alliance in hopes of enhancing their drive for independence from the Soviet Union.
    (AP, 5/12/00)

1990        May 14, In separate decrees, Soviet President Gorbachev declared that the republics of Estonia and Latvia had no legal basis for moving toward independence.
    (AP, 5/14/00)

1991        Jan 8, Pro Soviet demonstrators protested price rises and surrounded the parliament in Vilnius. Fresh Soviet troops began rolling across Baltic borders from Pskov, Russia, allegedly to deal with Baltic youth who have been evading the Soviet draft.
    (www.balticsww.com/news/features/crackdown.htm)

1991        Jan 20, In Latvia, “black beret” commandos of the Soviet Interior Ministry attacked the republic’s Interior Ministry headquarters, killing five people. Communist leader Alfred Rubiks supported a Soviet crackdown against a move by his countrymen for independence.
    (SFC,11/6/97, p.C3)(AP, 1/20/01)

1991        Mar 3, Latvia and Estonia voted to become independent of the USSR.
    (SC, 3/3/02)

1991        Aug, Alfred Rubiks was jailed for his support of the Soviet crackdown against independence in Jan. He was released in 1997 for good behavior.
    (SFC,11/6/97, p.C3)

1991        Sep 6, In the Soviet Union, the State Council, a new executive body composed of President Mikhail S. Gorbachev and republic leaders, recognized the independence of the Baltic states. All three were admitted into the United Nations later this month.
    (AP, 9/6/01)(http://countrystudies.us/lithuania/25.htm)

1991        Sep 14, US Secretary of State James A. Baker III met with leaders of the Baltic nations, which had declared independence from the Soviet Union.
    (AP, 9/14/01)

1991        Sep 17, The U.N. General Assembly opened its 46th session, welcoming new members Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North and South Korea, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
    (AP, 9/17/01)

1991        Independent Latvia recognized only the citizens of the pre-1940 Latvian state and their descendants. Some 740,000 Russian-speaking residents were made aliens and barred from voting and government sector employment.
    (WSJ, 3/11/05, p.A9)

1992        Mar 5, In Copenhagen the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden, in the presence of the representative from the European Commission, opened a 2-day meeting and decided to establish a Council of the Baltic Sea States to serve as a forum for guidance and overall coordination among the participating states. Iceland joined the CBSS in 1995
    (Econ, 6/7/08, p.63)(www.bmwi.de/English/Navigation/European-policy/baltic-market.html)

1993        Jul 8, Guntis Ulmanis was sworn in as president.
    (BN, 10/97, p.3)

1993        The Latvian Government Training Center opened. It was funded by the US Baltic Foundation DemNet program.
    (USBF, V.7, #2, p.5)

1994        Jul 6, President Clinton stopped by Latvia, then traveled to Poland as part of a four-nation European tour.
    (AP, 7/6/04)

1994        Aug 31, Russia officially ended its military presence in the former East Germany and the Baltics after a half-century.
    (AP, 8/31/99)

1994        Estonia became the 1st European country to introduce a flat tax (26%) on personal and corporate income. Latvia and Lithuania soon followed suit.
    (Econ, 3/5/05, p.54)

1995        The only Jewish synagogue in Riga was bombed and caused $300,000 in damages.
    (SFC, 4/8/98, p.A14)

1996        Sep 27, US Defense Sec. William Perry said the 3 Baltic nations would not be among the first new NATO members drawn from Eastern Europe.
    (SFC, 9/28/96, p.A8)

1996        Agate Nesaule won an American Book Award for her memoir: "A Woman in Amber--Healing the Trauma of War and Exile."   
    (BN, V.15, No.55, p.1)

1996        A coalition government was formed under Prime Minister Andris Skele. It was noted that the Russian language was still the primary school language and the language of communication between all non-Latvians.
    (BN, V.15, No.55, p.1)

1997        Jun, Terms of the Baltnet Group, an Air Surveillance System for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, were established in Oslo, Norway.
    (http://tinyurl.com/a6o2n)

1997        Aug 8, The largest int’l. military exercise in Latvia’s history will take place over 5 days at the Adazi training center organized by the Northwest Europe Command. Troops from 15 countries were to participate.
    (BN, 6/97)

1997        Oct 2, Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer led his Astor Quartet in a homage to Astor Piazzolla at the Herbst Theater in Berkeley, Ca.
    (SFC, 10/4/97, p.E1)

1997        Nov 5, Alfred Rubiks, former Communist leader, was released from jail.
    (SFC,11/6/97, p.C3)

1997        Nov 18, Holocaust survivors from Latvia received the first checks from a $200 million fund set up by Swiss banks. Individual survivors were to each receive $1000.
    (SFC,11/19/97, p.C4)

1998        Jan 16, Baltic leaders signed an agreement, the US-Baltics Charter of Partnership, at the White House strengthening US and NATO ties with Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The leaders also established a $15 million fund with equal contributions from the Agency for Int’l. Development and George Soros to promote nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
    (WSJ, 1/16/98, p.A1)(SFC, 1/17/98, p.A8)

1998        Mar, Some 500 Nazi WW II veterans held a parade in Riga.
    (SFC, 4/8/98, p.A14)

1998        Apr 2, The only Jewish synagogue in Riga was bombed.
    (SFC, 4/8/98, p.A14)

1998        Apr 3, Pres. Guntis Ulmanis fired the commander of Latvia’s army, Juris Dalbinsh, for marching full uniform in a Nazi parade in March. He also fired Police Chief Aldis Lieljuksis.
    (SFC, 4/8/98, p.A14)

1998        Apr 6, An anti-personnel mine exploded outside the Russian Embassy in Riga.
    (SFC, 4/8/98, p.A14)

1998        Apr 8, The Democratic Party Samnieks, the largest of the 6-party coalition, walked out of Parliament accusing the nationalist prime minister of souring relations with Russia.
    (SFC, 4/9/98, p.A9)

1998        Aug 31, The Skrunda radar base, the last Russian military outpost in the Baltic states, was closed.
    (SFC, 9/1/98, p.A9)

1998        Oct 3, In Latvia voters approved a referendum to ease citizenship requirements for Russians left there following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Voters also selected members for the 100 seat unicameral parliament.
    (WSJ, 10/5/98, p.A1)(BN, 10/98, p.1)

1998        Nov 18, The Swedish bank Skandinavska Enskilda acquired a 32% stake in Eesti Uhispank, as well as a 36% stake in Latvia’s Latvijas Unibanka.
    (WSJ, 11/19/98, p.A16)

1998        Dec, In Sweden a Latvian team won the first European championships in Fire Sculpture.
    (SFC, 1/7/99, p.D5)

1998        The experimental nuclear reactor at Salaspilis was closed. It was estimated that $50 million would be needed to dismantle it.
    (BN, 10/98, p.1)

1998        A documentary video on the Baltic States: “Seven years of Success and Still Growing” was produced.
    (BN, 10/98, p.6)

1999        Feb 24, Latvia became the first Baltic state to be a full member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
    (BN, 3/99, p.1)

1999        Jun 17, Latvia's parliament elected Vaira Vike-Freiberga (61), Canadian émigré and retired university professor, as its first female president.
    (WSJ, 6/18/99, p.A1)(USAT, 6/11/04, p.5D)

1999        Jul 16, Parliament approved the center-right government of Andris Skele. This ended the 6-year dominance of the centrist Latvia's Way Party.
    (WSJ, 7/22/99, p.A26)

1999        Dec 10, The EU granted preliminary consideration for membership to Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Malta.
    (SFC, 12/11/99, p.A16)

2000        Aug 17, In Latvia a bomb exploded in Riga and 21 people were injured.
    (SFC, 8/18/00, p.D6)

2002        Jul 6, In Latvia hopes were high at a summit of 10 former communist countries aspiring to join NATO, and many delegates already were looking ahead to the responsibilities of membership.
    (AP, 7/6/02)

2002        Oct 5, In Latvia the pro-business New Era party appeared set to win the most seats in parliamentary elections to choose the government that will lead this ex-Soviet republic into the European Union and NATO. Einars Repse led polls for election as prime minister.
    (AP, 10/4/02)(AP, 10/6/02)

2002        Oct 9, The European Union's executive Commission declared Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia nearly ready for EU membership and recommended they be invited to join in 2004. Romania and Bulgaria likely will be delayed until 2007 because of weak economies, the Commission said, adding Turkey was the weakest link among candidates.
    (AP, 10/9/02)

2002        Nov 5, In Latvia Einars Repse, a former head of the Central Bank who campaigned against corruption, was nominated to be the next PM.
    (AP, 11/5/02)

2002        Nov 7, Latvia's parliament gave its approval to a new government headed by former Central Bank president Einars Repse, who vowed to stop corruption in the ex-Soviet Baltic republic.
    (AP, 11/7/02)

2002        Nov 21, The Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania joined former communist states Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia as the next wave of NATO states.
    (AP, 11/21/02)

2002        Dec 13, The EU reached agreement to accept 10 new countries in 2004. These included Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
    (SFC, 12/14/02, p.A3)

2003        Jun 20, In Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga easily won a second term as president.
    (AP, 6/20/03)

2003        Sep 20, Latvians endorsed membership in the EU.
    (AP, 9/21/03)

2003        Dec 10, Four Latvian climbers plunged hundreds of feet to their deaths on Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest peak.
    (AP, 12/10/03)

2004        Feb 5, Latvian Prime Minister Einars Repse announced Thursday that his 14-month-old government was stepping down, saying his Cabinet can't continue working without a majority in parliament.
    (AP, 2/5/04)

2004        Mar 29, Pres. Bush hosted a White House ceremony to welcome Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into the NATO alliance.
    (WSJ, 3/30/04, p.A1)

2004        Mar, In Latvia the 12th government in 13 years took office.
    (Econ, 3/13/04, p.53)

2004        Apr 27, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and EU officials signed an accord extending the EU-Russia partnership accord to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta, which join May 1.
    (AP, 4/27/04)

2004        May 1, Revelers across ex-communist eastern Europe celebrated their historic entry to the European Union. 10 new members (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia) joined. Malta joined with 70 exemptions to EU rules. Poland had 43 exemptions. Latvia had 32. The Turkish occupied area of Cyprus was suspended from entry.
    (AP, 5/1/04)(Econ, 2/28/04, p.50)(Econ, 4/16/05, p.16)

2004        Sep 23, In Latvia lawmakers rejected a proposal to let nearly 500,000 ethnic Russians vote in local elections, despite giving the same right to citizens of EU countries who live in the Baltic state.
    (AP, 9/23/04)

2004        Oct 28, Latvia's government resigned after lawmakers refused to pass the 2005 budget that had been proposed by PM Indulis Emsis.
    (AP, 10/28/04)(WSJ, 10/29/04, p.A13)

2004        Dec, Latvia’s President Vaira Vike-Freiberga appointed Aigars Kalvitis as PM, the 9th in 11 years.
    (Econ, 12/11/04, p.48)

2004        Latvia passed an education law requiring all students to take exams in Latvian by 2007.
    (WSJ, 3/11/05, p.A9)

2004        Latvia’s highest court upheld the conviction of Vasily Kononov for ordering the killing of 9 civilians while fighting for Soviet forces in Nazi-occupied Latvia in 1944. Kononov's Soviet commando unit killed the unarmed Latvian villagers, who were suspected of collaborating with Nazi Germany. Kononov was sentenced to 20 months in prison, a much shorter sentence than the 12 years prosecutors had requested, but he was freed because he had already served that amount of time in pretrial detention. In 2010 Europe's highest human rights court upheld the war crimes conviction.
    (AP, 5/17/10)

2005        Jan 1, Latvia was forecast for 5.5% annual GDP growth with a population at 2.3 million and GDP per head at $5,800.
    (Econ, 1/8/05, p.88)

2005        Apr, A Latvian declaration in late April about compensation for hardships suffered under Soviet rule rankled Russia, caused Russia to cancel a proposed signing on May 10.
    (AP, 5/15/05)

2005        May 6, President Bush arrived in Riga, Latvia, as he opened a fast-paced, four-country journey to mark the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.
    (AP, 5/6/06)

2005        May 7, In Riga, Latvia, Pres. Bush said the Soviet domination of central and eastern Europe after World War II will be remembered as "one of the greatest wrongs of history" and acknowledged that the United States played a significant role in the division of the continent.
    (AP, 5/7/05)

2005        May 12, Latvia’s parliament issued a declaration that said: "The Soviet Union occupied and annexed the Republic of Latvia, destroyed its state system, killed, tortured and deported hundreds of thousands of people, robbed them of their property without any legal reason."
    (AP, 5/15/05)

2005        Jun 2, Latvian lawmakers voted to ratify the European Union constitution and challenged other European nations not to give up hope that the charter can be implemented.
    (AP, 6/2/05)

2005        Oct 27, Latvian lawmakers endorsed a new code of ethics designed to burnish the legislature's reputation that would prohibit deputies swearing and smoking in public.
    (AP, 10/27/05)

2005        Nov 6, Paul Tergat of Kenya won the NYC marathon by a third of a second in the closest finish ever. Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia took the women’s race.
    (WSJ, 11/7/05, p.A1)

2005        Dec 9, In Ireland more than 10,000 labor union members protested in Dublin and other cities over shipping company Irish Ferries' plan to replace its workers with Latvians making $4.25 an hour, half the local minimum wage. It was the country's most bitter industrial showdown in decades.
    (AP, 12/09/05)(WSJ, 12/10/05, p.A1)

2006        Jun 7, Latvia's parliament approved a bill to publish the names of nearly 4,500 suspected Soviet secret police informants. The bill went to President Vaira Vike-Freiberga for approval. Should she veto it, Parliament can override it with a two-thirds majority vote.
    (AP, 6/7/06)

2006        Sep 15, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga joined the race to become the next UN secretary-general, becoming the first woman vying for the UN's top post.
    (AP, 9/15/06)

2006        Sep 19, Einars Repse, Latvia's former prime minister (2002-2004), accidentally killed a pedestrian while driving on a remote road. He said he would stop campaigning for parliament, although he will remain a candidate. The EU's official statistics agency, Eurostat, said Latvia registered 222 traffic deaths per 1 million residents in 2004, the highest in the union.
    (AP, 9/21/06)

2006        Oct 5, The Latvian and Thai candidates dropped out of the race to become the next U.N. chief on Thursday, leaving South Korea's foreign minister as the lone remaining contender and near-certain successor to Kofi Annan.
    (AP, 10/5/06)

2006        Oct 7, Latvians turned out in their droves to choose the 100 men and women who will make their laws for the next four years in the first general election since the Baltic state joined the EU. Latvia's PM Aigars Kalvitis pledged to continue stimulating economic growth if his centre-right government was re-elected.
    (AFP, 10/7/06)(Reuters, 10/7/06)

2006        Oct 8, Latvia's ruling coalition kept its grip on power in general elections, making it first sitting government to do so since the Baltic republic broke away from the Soviet Union 15 years ago. PM Aigars Kalvitis has said he was ready to form and lead a new, centre-right coalition government.
    (AP, 10/8/06)

2006        Oct 18, Queen Elizabeth II praised Latvians' love of liberty and hailed the long-standing ties between Britain and the Baltic state, where she began the first-ever visit by a British monarch.
    (AFP, 10/18/06)

2006        Nov 5, Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil won the NYC Marathon in 2:09:58. Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia won the women’s race for the 2nd year in a row in 2:25:05.
    (WSJ, 11/6/06, p.A1)

2006        Nov 28, President Bush, in Latvia to attend a NATO summit, said he will not be persuaded by any calls to withdraw American troops from Iraq before the country is stabilized. Bush also enlisted renewed commitments from the NATO allies that have deployed 32,000 troops to Afghanistan.
    (AP, 11/28/06)

2006        Nov 29, NATO leaders finished a two-day summit without agreement on some members' refusal to send troops into combat in Afghanistan's most dangerous regions. NATO vowed to give its troubled mission in Afghanistan the "forces, resources and flexibility needed" to tackle increasingly ferocious Taliban fighters. Leaders invited Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina to join a program considered a first step toward eventual membership, but urged Serbia and Bosnia to fully cooperate with the UN war crimes tribunal.
    (AP, 11/29/06)(AFP, 11/29/06)

2006        Dec 3, Andris Piebalgs, the EU Energy Commissioner from Latvia, signed an accord on nuclear cooperation with Kazakhstan. The EU hoped to increase Kazakhstan uranium sales to the EU from 3% to 20%.
    (WSJ, 12/4/06, p.A6)

2006        Dec 4, The Estlink cable connected power grids of the Baltic States with Finland. The cost of Estlink, which measures 100 kilometers (60 miles), was around 110 million euros (132 million dollars). It was built by Swiss-Swedish group ABB.
    (AP, 12/4/06)

2006        Dec 27, Saddam Hussein's Baath Party threatened to retaliate if the ousted Iraqi leader is executed, warning in an Internet posting it would target US interests anywhere. A car bomb explosion killing 8 civilians and wounding 10 near an Iraqi army checkpoint in Baghdad. 2 Latvian soldiers were killed and 3 were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded under their Humvee in Diwaniyah.
    (AP, 12/27/06)

2006        Latvia’s current account deficit was 20%, the highest in the EU, due to a hot housing market and credit boom. Latvia’s GDP grew nearly 12% as inflation neared 7%.
    (Econ, 3/10/07, p.46)(WSJ, 5/15/07, p.A8)

2007        Feb 23, A fire raced through a home for the elderly and disabled in western Latvia leaving 25 people dead or missing.
    (AP, 2/23/07)

2007        May 31, Latvia's Parliament elected Valdis Zatlers, a surgeon with no political background as, the Baltic country's next president. He will replace outgoing President Vaira Vike-Freiberga in July when her second and final term ends.
    (AP, 5/31/07)

2007        Jun 6, Housing prices in the major cities of Estonia, Latia and Lithuania were reported to average around $202,375.
    (WSJ, 6/6/07, p.B9)

2007        Jul 8, Valdis Zatlers, a trauma surgeon with no prior political experience and widely publicized tax problems, was sworn in as Latvia's third president since the Baltic state gained independence in 1991.
    (AP, 7/8/07)

2007        Nov 7, Latvia's PM Aigars Kalvitis said that he would step down on Dec. 5 and that the four-party ruling coalition would immediately begin searching for a new head of government.
    (AP, 11/7/07)

2007        Dec 5, Latvia's center-right government resigned after coming under intense criticism for firing a popular anti-corruption investigator and failing to restrain inflation.
    (AP, 12/5/07)

2007        Dec 20, Latvian lawmakers approved a new center-right government that will face an uphill battle to restore popular trust and prevent the country's red-hot economy from abruptly reversing course. Ivars Godmanis (56) became prime minister. He led a four-party coalition which is facing a sharply slowing economy and record high inflation.
    (AP, 12/20/07)(Reuters, 6/18/08)
2007        Dec 20, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania along with 6 other EU members halted land and sea border controls at midnight, becoming the first in a wave of new members of Europe's passport-free Schengen zone.
    (AFP, 12/20/07)(WSJ, 12/21/07, p.A1)

2008        Jan 21, Latvia's Foreign Ministry declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata, citing a report that he was a threat to national security. On Jan 25 Russia said it will expel a Latvian diplomat in apparent retaliation. Some 400,000 non-citizens lived in Latvia. Ethnic Russians accounted for a third of the country's population of 2.3 million.
    (AP, 1/25/08)

2008        Mar 12, The United States signed agreements with EU members Latvia and Estonia that will enable the tiny Baltic nations to join the U.S. visa waiver program this year.
    (AP, 3/12/08)

2008        May 31, In Latvia about 400 gay men and women and their supporters held a parade in Riga, accompanied by a strong police presence and chants and insults from anti-gay activists.
    (AP, 5/31/08)

2008        Jun 18, Latvian PM Ivars Godmanis suffered serious head injuries in a road accident in the center of the capital while traveling in a car with a siren on.
    (AP, 6/18/08)

2008        Jul 25, Energy companies in the three Baltic states and Poland agreed to set up a joint venture to develop a nuclear power plant in Lithuania.
    (Reuters 7/25/08)

2008        Aug 11, An Afghan police officer was killed and two others were injured in a roadside bomb explosion on the southeastern outskirts of Kabul. 3 civilians were killed and 15 people were wounded, including three NATO troops, when a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into a NATO military convoy in Kabul. In the northern province of Maimana meanwhile a Latvian ISAF soldier was killed and three others wounded when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb.
    (AFP, 8/11/08)

2008        Aug, Inflation in Latvia stood at 17%.
    (Econ, 8/16/08, p.53)

2008        Nov 20, Latvia said it is looking to start talks with IMF and had formally entered into negotiations with the European Commission on emergency financial assistance.
    (WSJ, 11/21/08, p.A10)

2008        Dec 16, The central banks of Sweden and Denmark came to the aid of Latvia with currency swap agreements. This enabled the Bank of Latvia, to borrow as much as €500 million.
    (WSJ, 12/17/08, p.C2)

2008        Dec 19, France’s finance ministry unveiled a package of financial aid from the EU and others totaling $10.7 billion to help Latvia.
    (WSJ, 12/20/08, p.A8)

2009        Jan 13, In Latvia a protest against economic reforms that drew thousands in Riga turned violent as small pockets of rioters clashed with police and attacked government buildings.
    (AP, 1/13/09)

2009        Feb 20, Latvia's center-right coalition government resigned after weeks of instability brought on by the Baltic country's economic collapse. President Valdis Zatlers said he accepted the resignation of PM Ivars Godmanis and his administration, which had been in power since December 2007.
    (AP, 2/20/09)

2009        Mar 12, Latvia's parliament approved a new center-right government with Europe's youngest premier as the economic crisis in this Baltic state deepened. A 67-21 vote made PM Valdis Dombrovskis (37) and his 5-party coalition Latvia’s third government in 15 months.
    (AP, 3/12/09)

2009        Jul, Latvia’s leading newspaper, Diena, along with sister publication Dienas Bizness, was bought by Luxembourg based Nedela S.A. in a highly clandestine transaction. The deal was initially structured as a loan to Tralmaks' company Nedela, allowing it to buy the two papers from then-owner, Sweden's Bonnier Business Press. The loan was later restructured, placing the Rowlands as the new owners. The Rowland Capital family office runs an asset management business, Blackfish Capital Management, a London based company.
    (http://tinyurl.com/yjgb4ls)(Econ, 10/17/09, p.64)

2010        Feb 2, Latvia's government said it will accept one inmate from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay.
    (AP, 2/2/10)

2010        Feb 5, Latvia sold a deserted town built around a Soviet-era radar station to a Russian investor who bid $3.1 million at an unusual auction. The town, formerly known as Skrunda-1, housed about 5,000 people during the Cold War but was abandoned over a decade ago.
    (AP, 2/5/10)

2010        Feb, Latvia’s unemployment reached 22.8%, the highest in the EU.
    (Econ, 2/27/10, p.59)

2010        May 11, In Latvia police raided the home of Ilmars Poikans (31), an employee in the artificial intelligence department of the Univ. of Latvia. He had leaked embarrassing details to local press about top government officials and business leaders pocketing bonuses while public social benefits were cut as part of an austerity regime.
    (SFC, 5/14/10, p.A2)

2010        Oct 2, Latvians went to the polls, as the Baltic nation emerges from a savage economic slump, with polls showing the Moscow-tied left being poised for big gains. PM Valdis Dombrovskis's center-right coalition took 63 seats in the 100-member parliament in the election. His Unity Party won 33 seats, while the Moscow-linked, left-wing Harmony Center won 29.
    (AFP, 10/2/10)(AP, 10/3/10)(Econ, 10/9/10, p.74)

2010        Nov 4, In western Sudan 3 Latvian helicopter crew working for the United Nations were kidnapped. They were contracted to the UN Humanitarian Air Service, which delivers aid to poverty-stricken Darfur. On Dec 8 officials said the men had been freed with no ransom paid.
    (AP, 11/5/10)(AP, 12/9/10)

2011        May 20, The Embassy of the United States of America announced the official opening of the Office of the U.S. Secret Service in Estonia. The Secret Service office will work closely with its law enforcement partners within the criminal investigative infrastructure in the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
    (www.estonianfreepress.com)

2011        May 26, In Latvia a vote in the Saeima, or Parliament, blocked the country's anti-corruption bureau from searching the home of Ainars Slesers, a powerful politician known as one of Latvia's three oligarchs.
    (AP, 5/28/11)

2011        May 28, Latvian President Valdis Zatlers, in his final act in office, called for the dissolution of the country's parliament after lawmakers blocked an anti-corruption investigation against a prominent politician.
    (AP, 5/28/11)(Econ, 7/30/11, p.49)

2011        Jul 8, Andris Berzins (b.1944) took office as president of Latvia.
    (Econ, 7/30/11, p.49)(http://tinyurl.com/6l7gnlx)

2011        Jul 23, Latvians voted by a large majority to sack their Parliament in a historic referendum, setting the stage for a snap election in September.
    (SSFC, 7/24/11, p.A4)

2011        Sep 17, Latvia held snap parliamentary elections. The left-leaning Harmony Center, representing Latvia's large ethnic Russian minority, won over 29% of the seats in the nation's legislature. An upstart party formed by former President Valdis Zatlers was in second place with 20.5%, while Unity, the senior partner in the current ruling center-right coalition, was third with 18.2%. Approximately one-third of Latvia's 2.2 million people are minorities whose native language is Russian. Many of them are so-called noncitizens who lack the right to vote.
    (AP, 9/17/11)(AP, 9/18/11)

2012        Feb 8, NATO said it has decided to extend until 2018 an operation to protect the airspace of Baltic members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with fighter jets.
    (AP, 2/8/12)

2012        Feb 18, Latvia voted in a referendum on whether Russian should become the Baltic country's second national language. The Russians and other minorities who organized the referendum admit they have virtually no chance at winning the plebiscite. According to the current law, anyone who moved to Latvia during the Soviet occupation, or was born to parents who moved there, is considered a noncitizen and must pass the Latvian language exam in order to become a citizen. Latvian voters resoundingly rejected the proposal.
    (AP, 2/18/12)

2012        Mar 16, Nearly 1,500 Latvians paid tribute to soldiers who fought in Nazi Germany's Waffen SS divisions, while nearby Russians held a counter protest to recall war crimes committed against Jews and other minorities.
    (AP, 3/16/12)

2012        May 1, Latvia became the latest of 97 countries to wipe the death penalty from its justice system.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Latvia)(Econ, 4/13/13, p.62)

2012        Jun 2, In Latvia several hundred activists from the Baltic states and neighboring countries braved rain and hail to participate in an annual parade in defense of gay and lesbian rights. The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have largely proven to be intolerant toward gays and lesbians despite having joined the European Union in 2004.
    (AFP, 6/2/12)

2013        Mar 16, Over a thousand Latvians commemorated Nazi-allied World War II soldiers while police used force to prevent violence from erupting between participants and ethnic Russians, who are a minority in the country.
    (AP, 3/16/13)

2013        Jun 5, The EU gave approval to Latvia to become the 18th member of the troubled euro currency union — despite doubts among many of its people and international concerns about its banking system. A final decision will be made by eurozone finance ministers July 9.
    (AP, 6/5/13)

2013        Jul 9, EU finance ministers in Brussels officially agreed to make Latvia the 18th member of the eurozone currency union. Latvia will start using the new currency on Jan 1, 2014.
    (AP, 7/9/13)

2013        Aug 6, Latvia's government approved the extradition of  Deniss Calovskis (b.1985), a man accused by the United States of helping create a virus that affected over a million computers worldwide, including many at NASA, and that allowed hackers to steal millions of dollars from victims' bank accounts. US authorities earlier this year accused Calovskis, along with Romanian citizen Mihai Ionut Paunescu and Russian national Nikita Kuzmin, of participating in a conspiracy that started in 2005 to create and disseminate the so-called Gozi virus. On August 8 the extradition was put on hold  after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said it would take on the case.
    (AP, 8/6/13)(Reuters, 8/8/13)

2013        Oct 15, Eurocrats and transport industry folk began a two day train ride from Vilnius to Talinn. Rail Baltica, an idea to build a proper rail way connection from Helsinki to Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas, Warsaw and continuing on to Berlin was on the agenda in a conference onboard the train.
    (www.balticsea-region-strategy.eu/item/486861)(Econ, 10/19/13, p.60)

2013        Nov 21, In Latvia a Maxima supermarket collapsed in a suburb of Riga. 54 people were killed in the Baltic state's worst disaster in decades.
    (Reuters, 11/22/13)(AP, 11/23/13)(AP, 11/25/13)

2013        Nov 27, Latvia’s prime minister resigned after accepting political responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof in the capital that killed 54 people.
    (AP, 11/27/13)

2014        Jan 1, Latvia celebrated the new year as the 18th member of the eurozone, which for all its dents and bruises still represents stability and security to the Baltic country's leaders.
    (AP, 1/1/14)

2014        Jan 6, Latvia Pres. Andris Berzins nominated laimdota Straujuma as the next prime minister.
    (Econ, 1/11/14, p.45)

2014        Jan 22, The Latvian parliament approved the country's first woman prime minister, Laimdota Straujuma, who pledged to stick to the fiscal discipline of the previous cabinet and to push ahead with liberalizing the country's gas market.
    (Reuters, 1/22/14)

2014        Feb 28, Latvia's Olympic Committee secretary general said a second player on its national men's ice hockey team is suspected to have tested positive for a banned substance at the Sochi Winter Games.
    (AP, 3/1/14)

2014        Mar 19, US Vice President Joe Biden met with leaders of Lithuania and Latvia, part of a quick trip to reassure Baltic allies worried about what an emboldened, aggressive Russia might mean for their nations.
    (Reuters, 3/19/14)

2014        Mar 21, France said it is suspending military cooperation with Russia as Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Baltic states in a trip designed to reassure them as tensions mount with Russia over its seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region.
    (Reuters, 3/21/14)

2014        Apr 7, Latvia said it is joining Lithuania in banning Russian state TV broadcasts because it found that several programs about the Ukraine crisis were tendentious and not in the Baltic nation's security interests. A three-month suspension of RTR Rossiya broadcasts will begin April 8.
    (AP, 4/7/14)

2014        Oct 4, Latvia held elections as it sought to limit the influence of a pro-Kremlin party popular with ethnic Russians. Latvia's center-right ruling coalition scored a fresh victory, though Harmony, a Kremlin-allied party backed by the ethnic Russian minority, nabbed 24 seats in the 100-member parliament.
    (AFP, 10/4/14)(AFP, 10/5/14)

2014        Nov 5, In Latvia the Union of Greens and Farmers and Unity, both center-right parties, joined with the conservative National Alliance to form a Cabinet led by PM Laimdota Straujuma.
    (AP, 11/5/14)

2014        Nov 13, Eight northern European nations (Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden) agreed to step up cooperation to counter an increase in Moscow's military activity that has included a tripling of NATO intercepts of Russian jets this year.
    (Reuters, 11/13/14)

2015        Jan 30, NATO said it will deploy small units in six Eastern European nations to help coordinate a spearhead force set up in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine. The units in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania will be the first of their kind there.
    (AP, 1/30/15)

2015        Mar 9, The United States delivered more than 100 pieces of military equipment to vulnerable NATO-allied Baltic states in a move designed to provide them with the ability to deter potential Russian threats.
    (AFP, 3/9/15)

2015        Mar 11, Latvia's Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis said the country’s security is at risk from Russian-funded advocacy groups waging "information war" that suggests the Baltic state is persecuting its Russian minority.
    (Reuters, 3/12/15)

2015        Mar 16, In Latvia about a thousand people marched to pay tribute to Latvians who fought in German Waffen SS units against the Soviet Union during World War II, despite jeering from protesters who say the parade glorifies fascism.
    (AP, 3/16/15)

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Subject = Latvia
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