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Moldova

The Republic of Moldova is a landlocked country in eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the east. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, it was once known as Bessarabia when it belonged to the larger principality of Moldavia.

Republica Moldova
(In Detail[?])
National motto: None
Official languages Moldovan, Russian
Capital Chişinău
PresidentVladimir Voronin[?]
Prime MinisterVasile Tarlev[?]
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 135th
33,843 km²
1.4%
Population
 - Total (2002)
 - Density
Ranked 116th
4,431,570
131/km²
Independence
 - Date
From the Soviet Union
August 27, 1991
Currency Leu[?]
Time zone UTC +2
National anthem Limba noastră
Internet TLD.MD
Calling Code373

Table of contents

History Main article: History of Moldova

Situated on a tactical point between Asia and Europe, Moldova has suffered from several invasions, from the Romans to the Kievan Rus and the Mongols. During the Middle Ages it formed the eastern part of the principality of Moldavia and was known as Bessarabia. The principality became part of the Ottoman Empire, which it remained until 1812, when Bessarabia was ceded to Russia, while the western part became part of Romania.

Following the Russian Revolution, Moldova briefly became an independent republic in 1918, but was united with Romania that same year. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact allowed the Soviet Union to take Moldova in 1940, and though forced out again in 1941, they finally occupied the area in 1944 and it became a Soviet republic. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, Moldova declared its independence. Initially, there was a movement to reunite with Romania, but a referendum saw a majority of the inhabitants in favour of independence.

Politics Main article: Politics of Moldova

The unicameral Moldovan parliament, the Parlamentul, has 101 seats, and its members are elected by popular vote every 4 years. The parliament then elects a president, who functions as the head of state. The president, with approval of the parliament, appoints a prime minister as head of government, who then assembles a cabinet, again subject to approval of parliament.

The largest party in the parliament is currently the Partidul Comuniştilor din Moldova (PCM), or Moldovan Communist Party, which also supplies the current president. Moldova has remained a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, as have most former Soviet Union republics.

Counties Main article: Counties of Moldova[?]

Moldova is divided into 9 counties, or judeţe, a municipality (the capital), and two territorial units.

The part of Moldova east of the Dniester[?] River, Transnistria[?] - populated by ethnic Russians - claimed independence in 1992, fearing for Moldovan unification with Romania. Russian and Ukrainian forces intervened, and remain there to keep the peace. As no other nation recognises Transnistria, it is de jure part of Moldova, although in reality it is not controlled by the Moldovan government, and it is a centre of organised crime.

Geography Main article: Geography of Moldova

The western border of Moldova is formed by the Prut[?] river, which joins the Danube before flowing into the Black Sea. In the northeast, the Dniester[?] is the main river, flowing through the country from north to south. The country is landlocked, even though it is very close to the Black Sea. While the northern part of the country is hilly, elevations never exceed 430 m (the highest point being the Dealul Bălăneşti[?]).

Moldova has a temperate continental climate, with warm summers, but mild winters. The country's main cities are the capital Chişinău, in the centre of the country, Tiraspol (in Transnistria), Bălţi[?] and Bender[?].

Economy Main article: Economy of Moldova

Moldova enjoys a favourable climate and good farmland but has no major mineral deposits. As a result, the economy depends heavily on agriculture, featuring fruits, vegetables, wine, and tobacco. Moldova must import all of its supplies of oil, coal, and natural gas, largely from Russia. Energy shortages contributed to sharp production declines after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. As part of an ambitious reform effort, Moldova introduced a convertible currency, freed all prices, stopped issuing preferential credits to state enterprises, backed steady land privatisation, removed export controls, and freed interest rates.

The government entered into agreements with the World Bank and the IMF to promote growth and reduce poverty. The economy returned to positive growth, of 2.1% in 2000 and 6.1% in 2001. Growth remained strong in 2002, in part because of the reforms and because of starting from a small base. Further reforms are in doubt because of strong political forces backing government controls. The economy remains vulnerable to higher fuel prices, poor agricultural weather, and the scepticism of foreign investors.

Demographics Main article: Demographics of Moldova

The majority of the Moldovans, about 65%, is of Romanian descent, and speaks Romanian, although, for political reasons, the language is called Moldovan in the Constitution. Russians and Ukrainians form sizeable minorties (each about 13%), mostly located in Transnistria[?], as does a group of Gagauz[?] (5%). All these groups speak their own languages. Nearly all of the Moldovans are Eastern Orthodox Christians, with the exception of a small number of Jews.

Culture Main article: Culture of Moldova[?]

Miscellaneous topics

External Links

  • Moldova.MD (http://e-gov.moldova.md/moldova(en).nsf) - Official governmental site
  • Parlamentul (http://www.parlament.md/en) - Official parliamentary site
  • Turism.md (http://www.turism.md/eng) - Official Department of Tourism site


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