Country of Latvia (for comparison sake, its slightly larger than West Virginia):
Background: 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. As of 2001, Latvia continues to revamp its economy for eventual integration into various Western European political and economic institutions.
Population: 2,385,231 (July 2001 est.)