After a brief period of independence between the two World Wars, Latvia was
annexed by the USSR in 1940. It reestablished its independence in 1991
following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Although the last Russian troops
left in 1994, the status of the Russian minority (some 30% of the
population) remains of concern to Moscow. Latvia continues to revamp its
economy for eventual integration into various Western European political
and economic institutions.