As part of Riga's year as a European capital of culture, hundreds of events are taking place to introduce Latvia to the world.
Germany is lagging behind the fast-paced digitization happening in places like the Baltic states, with libraries in Latvia and Lithuania playing a leading role in the digital preservation of cultural heritage.
Teachers in the Baltic country's bilingual schools are transitioning into teaching mostly in Latvian. Critics worry that the reform will come at the detriment of minority students — mainly ethnic Russians.
The outgoing German president has stressed a commitment to the Baltics amid concerns over Russian territorial ambitions. His likely successor, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has been more restrained in criticizing Moscow.
2017 marks the end of an era of Baltic leaders with backgrounds of Cold War exile in the United States. Some in the region fear it could also be a year of wider American disengagement, Richard Martyn-Hemphill reports.
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