There are few nations whose international affairs contain as many broken threads as Latvia's. This has inevitably left obvious traces on Latvian foreign policy goals and tactics. Latvia was born as a nation-state at the beginning of the twentieth century, yet will still enter the next millennium as a political youngster that has to find and define its role in the international community. There are three main reasons for this relative youth. The first is the relatively late construction of the nation-state (1918). The second is the more than 50 years of Soviet occupation. Finally, the third reason is Latvia's challenging geopolitical situation, which has yet to offer a stable and long-lasting solution to national security. Therefore, in Latvia, the elements of foreign policy are constituted by historical background and accumulated experience.