The Republic of Latvia is a small country of 2 million inhabitants located in the Baltic region of northeastern Europe, measuring 450km from east to west and 200km from north to south. The territory is mostly flat, with the highest elevation less than 100m high. Latvia was first settled in 3000 BC, but the first independent Latvian state was only formed in 1918 and existed for 22 years. The current Latvian republic achieved independence in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Latvia joined the European Union in 2004 and has a relatively advanced economy. The capital of Latvia is Riga.