Foreign relations of Latvia

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Today's Republic of Latvia regards itself as a continuation of the 1918-1940 republic. After the declaration on the restoration of its full independence on August 21, 1991, Latvia became a member of the United Nations on September 17, 1991, and is a signatory to a number of UN organizations and other international agreements, including Council of Europe, CERCO, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, UNESCO, UNICEF, International Criminal Court, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It also is a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and of the North Atlantic Coordinating Council. On 20 September 2003, in a nationwide referendum, the Latvians voted to join the European Union and Latvia's EU membership took effect on 1 May 2004. Latvia became a member state of NATO on March 29, 2004. Latvia welcomes further cooperation and integration with NATO, European Union, and other Western organizations. It also seeks more active participation in UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide.

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