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Republica Moldova
Republic of Moldova
Flag of Moldova Coat of arms of Moldova
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: (none)
Anthem: Limba noastră
Location of Moldova
Capital Chişinău
47°0′ N 28°55′ E
Largest city Chişinău
Official language(s) Moldovan
Prime Minister
Parliamentary Republic
Vladimir Voronin
Vasile Tarlev
- Formation
- Independence
August 27, 1991
August 2, 1940,
August 27, 1991
• Total

• Water (%)

33,843 km² ( 135th)
{{{areami²}}} mi²

• 2004 est.
• 2004 census

• Density

2004 ( 117th)

131/km² ( 56th)
• Total
• Per capita
2004 estimate
US.59462 billion ( 132nd)
US6,28 ( 141st)
HDI ( 2003) 0.671 ( 115th) – medium
Currency Leu ( MDL)
Time zone
• Summer ( DST)
EET ( UTC+2)
Internet TLD .md
Calling code +373
1. ^ Gagauz and Russian are also official in the Gagauz Autonomous Region)
Stephen the GreatRuler of Moldavia 1436–1504
Stephen the Great
Ruler of Moldavia 1436–1504
The Republic of Moldova (conventional long form, conventional short form: Moldova, local official long form: Republica Moldova) is a landlocked country in eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the east. Historically part of Romania it was reunited with it in 1918, then it was annexed with force and war by the Communist Soviet Union in 1945 after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, during 1940- 1941, 1945- 1991 as the Moldavian SSR. It declared its independence from the USSR on 27 August 1991.

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National symbols
Relations with Romania and the European Union
Administrative divisions
Largest cities
Information technologies and telecommunications
Tourism in Moldova
International rankings

History - Contents

Moldova's territory was inhabited in ancient times by Dacians. Due to its strategic location on a route between Asia and Europe, Moldova has suffered from several invasions, including those of the Kievan Rus' and the Mongols.During the Middle Ages the territory of Republic of Moldova (including most of present-day Moldova but also including districts to the north and south, known as Northern Bukovina and Budjak) formed the eastern part of the principality of Moldavia (which, like the present-day republic, was known in Romanian as "Moldova"). The principality became tributary to the Ottoman Empire during 16th century. Following the Treaty of Bucharest in 1812, it was annexed by Russia together with Budjak (Southern Bessarabia). At first, the Russians used the name "Gubernya of Moldova and Bessarabia", but later called it simply Bessarabia. The western part of Moldavia remained an autonomous principality and united with Walachia to form the Old Kingdom of Romania in 1859.At the end of World War I, Bessarabia proclaimed independence from Russia in 1918, and united with the Kingdom of Romania the same year. The Soviet Union invaded with force Bessarabia in June 1940 in an agreement with Germany expressed in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and though forced out again in 1941, Soviet troops re-occupied and annexed the area in August 1944. Soviet rule brought a harsh de-nationalization policy. The southern and northern parts (which had some Slavic and Turkic minorities) were transferred to Ukraine. At the same time, Transnistria (where, at that time, ethnic Romanians outnumbered Slavs) was joined to the remainder to form the " Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic", identical in territory to present-day Moldova. Under Stalin, ethnic Russians were brought into the new country, especially into urbanized areas, while large numbers of ethnic Romanians were deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. The overall result was the destruction of Romanian elites and middle-classes, and their replacement with Soviet (mostly Slavic) elements.Along with the other peripheral Soviet republics, Moldova started to move towards independence from 1991 onwards; in August 1991, Moldova declared its independence and in December of that year became a member of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States along with most of the former Soviet republics. At the end of that year, an ex-communist reformer, Mircea Snegur, won an election for the presidency. Four months later, the country achieved formal recognition as an independent state at the United Nations.The part of Moldova east of the Dniestr River, Transnistria—which is more heavily industrialized and is populated by a larger proportion of ethnic Russians and Ukrainians— claimed independence in 1991, fearing Moldovan unification with Romania. Russian and Ukrainian forces intervened on the Transnistrian side, and remain there. The OSCE is involved in negotiations between the Transnistrian leaders and Chişinău.While their emotional ties to the Romanian "motherland" remained strong, and while their visits to Romania were welcome, Moldova did not unite with Romania in 1991. In the early 1990s, the future of Moldova was a source of tension in Romania's relations with Russia. President Boris Yeltsin's government did not want to see one of the former Soviet republics on Russia's frontier joined to another country.A March 1994 referendum saw an overwhelming majority of voters favoring continued independence. In the 2001 elections a pro-Russian Communist party won majority of seats in the Parliament and appointed a Communist president, Vladimir Voronin. After few years in power relationships between Moldova and Russia deteriorated over the Transnistrian conflict. In the following election, held in 2005, the Communist party made 180 degree turn and was re-elected on a pro-Western platform, with Voronin re-elected to a second term as a president.During the 2005 parliamentary elections the Russian Federation tried to influence the election process by intensively favourable coverage of pro-Russian candidates in the Russian mass media and by organizing meetings and agitation campaigns using the Russian CIS-EMO organization (so-called “Elections Monitoring Organization”), which is not recognized internationally as an independent election observer. This organization was proven to have poor records from the previous Kyrgyzstan election. As a response to the security threat, Moldovan authorities denied entry to the Republic of Moldova for the members of the CIS-EMO ^ organization. Some who nonetheless made their way into the Republic were found distributing leaflets and actively participating in the election campaign, despite not having a valid Moldovan passport or any proof of Moldovan citizenship or any permission from the election authority. These members were consequently deported from the country. This action angered the Russian side. As a consequence, Russian-Moldovan ties greatly weakened, and the nation is split between building ties with the West or with Russia.In 1992, Moldova was involved in a short-term war against Russian armed forces and Ukrainian Kazak units. Units of Kazaks (Ukrainian mercenaries) fought, supported by and alongside the Russian 14th Army. The Transnistrian war began with an attack of Russian mercenaries on the Moldovan town of Dubăsari, situated on the eastern bank of the River Dniestr, but not loyal to the separatist regime. Since 1992, Russia has maintained a military force in the eastern regions of the Republic of Moldova. The separatist Transnistrian regime established in the occupied territory is undemocratic, and no rotation in political power has taken place in this area since 1992. The de facto Transnistrian government has enforced Russification, the denationalization of ethnic Ukrainians, and discrimination against Moldovans. In the summer of 2004, Transnistrian authorities forcibly closed six Moldovan schools from Tiraspol, Tighina/Bender, and Rîbniţa that used the Romanian language in the Latin alphabet. 3,400 enrolled children were affected by this measure. Several teachers and parents who opposed the closures were arrested.

National symbols - Contents

The flags of Moldova and Romania are similar, with the same range of colours, but with a presence of a coat of arms in Moldavian flag.

The currency of Moldova, the leu (plural: lei) has the same name as the currency of Romania. The name means "lion".

Ştefan cel Mare
Ştefan cel Mare ("Stephen the Great"), cousin of Vlad III Dracula, was the most important Prince of Moldavia. He was born around 1436, at Borzeşti, Bacău County, (now in Romania), and died at Suceava, Romania 2 July 1504. He ruled 47 years, from 14 April 1457 until his death. He is considered a national hero in Republic of Moldova and Romania, and is thus a symbolic link between them.

Dimitrie Cantemir
The Prince Dimitrie Cantemir is one of the most important figures of Western culture of the 18th century. Cantemir wrote the first geographical, ethnographical and economic description of the country, Descriptio Moldaviae ( Berlin 1714). He is considered a national hero in Republic of Moldova (on both sides of the Dniestr river) and Romania.

Politics - Contents

Political Map of Moldova
Political Map of Moldova
The unicameral Moldovan parliament, or Parlament, 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 appoints a prime minister as head of government who in turn assembles a cabinet, both subject to parliamentary approval.

2005 Parliamentary Elections:

  • Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM) (45.98% votes, 56 mandates)
  • Electoral Bloc “Moldova Democrata” (BMD) (28.53% votes, 34 mandates)
  • Christian Democratic Peoples Party (CDPP) (9.07% votes, 11 mandates)

2001 Parliamentary Elections:

  • Communist Party (CP)(50.07% votes, 71 mandates)
  • Electoral Bloc "Braghis Alliance" (BEAB) (13.36% votes, 19 mandates)
  • Christian Democratic People's Party (CDPP) (8.24% votes, 11 mandates)

Early history

After the Soviet Union occupied the region of Bessarabia during World War II from Romania, the Soviets began a campaign to create an Moldovan ethnic identity different from the one of the Romanians, who were said to be "capitalist oppressors".The Soviet official policy also stated that Romanian and Moldovan were two different languages and Moldovan was written with a special Cyrillic alphabet derived from the Russian alphabet, as opposed to Romanian, which was written with its own version of Latin alphabet.

Independence of Moldova

In the address to the Romanian parliament, in February 1991, Mircea Snegur, the Moldovan president talked about a common identity of the Moldovan and Romanians, referring to the "Romanians of both sides of the Prut River" and "Sacred Romanian lands occupied by the Soviets".In 1989, Romanian became the official language of Moldova and following the independence of 1991, the Romanian tricolor with a coat-of-arms was used as flag, and Deşteaptă-te române!, the Romanian anthem also became the anthem of Moldova. In those times, it was widely expected in both countries that they were to be united soon.However, the initial enthusiasm in Moldova was tempered and starting 1993, Moldova started to distance itself from Romania. The constitution adopted in 1994 used the term "Moldovan language" instead of "Romanian" and changed the national anthem to Limba noastră. The 1996 attempt by Moldovan president Mircea Snegur to change the official language to "Romanian" was dismissed by the Moldovan Parliament as "promoting Romanian expansionism".A Movement for unification of Romania and the Republic of Moldova began in both countries in early 1990s, after the Republic of Moldova declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

Current state

While most, if not all Romanian political parties would support a unification (the most vocal being the nationalist Great Romania Party), in Moldova only the Christian-Democratic People's Party supports it.

Relations with Romania and the European Union - Contents

Moldova's relationship with Romania, which is set to become a European Union (EU) member in 2007, has also been strained, with Moldova publicly making various accusations against Romania. The prospect of union with Romania is constantly an issue, though certainly not an imminent prospect as of 2005. In September 2005, President of Moldova Voronin met Romanian President Traian Băsescu and he declared textually "We go with Romania until the end" meaning that Romanians and Moldovans are the same nation (albeit separate states) and will have a common future.The government has stated that Moldova has European aspirations but there has been little progress toward EU membership. Once Romania joins the EU, any unification between the two countries would presumably bring Moldova into the EU if it later unified with Romania .On May 1, 2004 many EU enthusiasts waving the EU flags found their flags confiscated by police and some were arrested under the clause of "anti-nationalism." At present, Moldova remains one of the poorest country in Europe, with rampant corruption and a sadly booming trade in people.During her first bilateral visit to Moldova, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner opened the new Delegation of the European Commission to Moldova on 6 October, to be headed by Cesare De Montis.The opening of the Delegation of the European Commission is a signal of the deepening of relations between the EU and Moldova which will lead eventually to joining the European Union.The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with EU is the legal basis for EU relations with Moldova. With the joint adoption of the EU-Moldova Action Plan on February 22, 2005, the EU and Moldova have further reinforced their bilateral relationship, providing a new tool to help implement the PCA and bring Moldova closer to the EU. The TACIS Programme is the framework for technical assistance to support agreed objectives.The Partnership & Cooperation Agreement came into force in July 1998 for an initial period of ten years. It establishes the institutional framework for bilateral relations, sets the principal common objectives, and calls for activities and dialogue in a number of policy areas. Moldova welcomed EU enlargement and signed on 30 April 2004 the protocol extending the PCA to the new EU member states.

Administrative divisions - Contents

Administrative division
Administrative division
Moldova is divided into 32 districts ( raion, pl. raioane), 3 municipalities ( Chişinău, Bălţi and Tighina), two semi-autonomous regions ( Găgăuzia and the breakaway region of Transnistria, whose status is still disputed). The districts are:
  • Anenii Noi
  • Basarabeasca
  • Briceni
  • Cahul
  • Cantemir
  • Călăraşi
  • Căuşeni
  • Cimişlia
  • Criuleni
  • Donduşeni
  • Drochia
  • Dubăsari
  • Edineţ
  • Făleşti
  • Floreşti
  • Glodeni
  • Hînceşti
  • Ialoveni
  • Leova
  • Nisporeni
  • Ocniţa
  • Orhei
  • Rezina
  • Rîşcani
  • Sîngerei
  • Soroca
  • Străşeni
  • Şoldăneşti
  • Ştefan Voda
  • Taraclia
  • Teleneşti
  • Ungheni
As no other nation recognizes Transnistria, it is de jure a part of Moldova, although in reality it is not controlled by the Moldovan government.

Geography - Contents

The largest part of the country lies between two rivers, the Nistru and the Prut. Moldova's rich soil and temperate continental climate have made the country one of the most productive agricultural regions and a major supplier of agricultural products in the region.The western border of Moldova is formed by the Prut river, which joins the Danube before flowing into the Black Sea. In the north-east, 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.See List of cities in Moldova

Largest cities - Contents

# City Population County
1. Chisinau / Chisinau 802,082 Chisinau
2. Tiraspol 266,953 Tiraspol
3. Tighina 130,888 Tighina
4. Soroca 53,983 Soroca
5. Orhei 45,983 Orhei
6. Ungheni 44,983 Ungheni
7. Dubăsari 28,983 Dubăsari

Economy - Contents

Moldovan money
Moldovan money
Moldova enjoys a favorable 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 petroleum, 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 economic liberalization effort, Moldova introduced a convertible currency, freed all prices, stopped issuing preferential credits to state enterprises, backed steady land privatization, removed export controls, and freed interest rates. The government entered into agreements with the World Bank and the IMF to promote growth. Recent trends indicate that the communist government intends to reverse some of these policies, and recollectivise land while placing more restrictions on private business.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 liberalization is in doubt because of strong political forces backing government controls. The economy remains vulnerable to higher fuel prices, poor agricultural weather, and the skepticism of foreign investors.Moldova remains the poorest country in Europe in terms of GDP per capita: 1,900 USD PPP ( 2005) or 590 USD nominal ( 2005).

Demographics - Contents

Ethnic Composition - 1989
Ethnic Composition - 1989

Ethnic composition

(according to the 2004 census)
  • Moldovans: 76.1%
  • Ukrainians: 8.4%
  • Russians: 5.8%
  • Gagauz: 4.4%
  • Romanians: 2.1%
  • Bulgarians: 1.9%
  • Others: 1.3%
About 2004 census
According to a May 19 2005 article in "Moldova Azi" news agency (see ), a group of international census experts described the Moldovan census as "generally conducted in a professional manner", while remarking that that "a few topics… were potentially more problematic". Among the problematic topics:
  1. The census includes at least some Moldovans who had been living abroad over one year at the time of the census.
  2. The precision of numbers about nationality/ethnicity and language was questioned. Some enumerators apparently encouraged respondents to declare that they were "Moldovan" rather than "Romanian", and even within a single family there may have been confusion about these terms.
With respect to these matters, especially the latter, the expert group recommended that the Moldovan National Bureau of Statistics carry out an evaluation study, offered their assistance in doing so, and indicated their intention of further studying the matter themselves.
Moldavian Orthodox icon
Moldavian Orthodox icon


  • Eastern Orthodox Christian 98%
  • Jewish 1.5%
  • Baptist and other 0.5%

Language - Contents

The official language is Moldovan; this is by all accounts a form of Daco-Romanian, and is essentially the same as Romanian. There is no particular linguistic break at the Prut River, which divides Moldova from Romania. In formal use, the languages are identical except for minor orthographical issues (the Moldovans write î in some contexts where Romanians would use â; this same form used to be normal in Romania). There is, however, some regional variation, as might be found within any linguistic territory, and the common speech of Chişinau or Transnistria can be distinguished from the speech of Iaşi, a Romanian city that is also part of the former Principality of Moldavia.Opinions vary on the status of Moldovan as a language. Most linguists consider standard Moldovan to be identical to standard Romanian, an Eastern Romance language, although one Moldovan linguist disputes this. There are, however, more differences between the colloquial spoken languages of Moldova and Romania, most significantly due to the influence of Russian in Moldova which was not present in Romania. The matter of whether or not Moldovan is a separate language is a contested political issue within and beyond the Republic of Moldova.A September 1989 law concerning languages, which still applies, [3] asserts the linguistic identity between the Romanian language and the Moldovan language. [4]A significant minority speaks native Russian, and there are more Slavicisms in common speech in Moldova than in common speech in Romania. Nonetheless, Moldovans are generally aware when they are using a word of Slavic origin not found in common Romanian, and are capable of choosing whether or not to use these words in a particular context.Title I, Article 13 of the Moldovan Constitution, names it the "national language" (limba de stat) of the country. In the unrecognized state of Transnistria, it is co-official with Ukrainian and Russian. The 1989 law on language of the Moldavian SSR, which is still effective in Moldova according to the Constitution , asserts the real existence of "linguistical Moldo- Romanian identity"."Moldovan language" is in fact identical with Romanian language, renamed as a "language" for political reasons by the government. Although similar theories have been fielded for other languages, this proposal is now believed to have been made to serve political purposes only, and nobody has provided any evidence so-far towards the idea that Moldovan and Romanian are not from common linguistic stock.

Comparison with Romanian
The sample below taken from the Constitutions of Moldova and Romania demonstrates that a formal text in Romanian and Moldovan is identical.
Moldova Romania English
TITLUL I: Principii Generale TITLUL I: Principii Generale FIRST TITLE: General Principles
Articolul 1 Statul Republica Moldova Articolul 1 Statul român Article 1 (Romanian/Republic of Moldova State)
(1) Republica Moldova este un stat suveran şi independent, unitar şi indivizibil. (1) România este stat naţional, suveran şi independent, unitar şi indivizibil. (1) Romania/Republic of Moldova is a national, independent, united, and indivisible state.
(2) Forma de guvernămînt a statului este republica. (2) Forma de guvernământ a statului român este republica. (2) The form of government of the state is republican.
(3) Republica Moldova este un stat de drept, democratic, în care demnitatea omului, drepturile şi libertăţile ... (3) România este stat de drept, democratic şi social, în care demnitatea omului, drepturile şi libertăţile ... Romania/Republic of Moldova is a state of law, democratic and social, in which the human dignity, rights and liberties...
[6] [7] Links to the official page of Constitution for both countries

Information technologies and telecommunications - Contents

In 2004, the investments volume on the telecommunications and information market in Moldova increased by 30.1% in comparison with 2003, achieving 825.3 million lei (65.5 million US dollars). The representatives of the National Agency for Telecommunications and Information Regulation communicated that 451 million lei (35.9 million dollars) were invested in the field of fixed telephone communication.The investments constituted 330 million lei (26.2 million dollars) in the field of mobile telephony, 24.2 million lei (1.9 million dollars) in the field of Internet services, 19.1 million lei (1.5 million dollars) in the field of cable television services. The essential increase in the amount of 163 million lei (12.9 million dollars) has been achieved in the field of mobile telephony.In comparison with 2003, the investments in this sector doubled practically. An insignificant increase was registered at the other market segments, but the investment volume remained the same in the field of fixed telephone communication.In 2005 the volume of investments in telecommunication and information technology exceeded the level of the previous year, primarily due to the investments of the national operator of the stationary telephone communications of the Joint-Stock Company “ Moldtelecom” for the implementation of the technology CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), by the investments of the operators of mobile telephony “ Voxtel” and “ Moldcell” in the development of infrastructure, also by means aimed at the extension and improvement of access services to Internet by new broadband technologies.
Mihai Eminescu, national poet of Romania and Moldova
Mihai Eminescu, national poet of Romania and Moldova

Tourism in Moldova - Contents

The Republic of Moldova is a beautiful small country, situated in the Southeast part of Europe, neighboring Romania to the West and Ukraine to the East. This piece of land boasts a rich history, abundant in dramatic and agitated events.

Gallery - Contents

International rankings - Contents

  • Bertelsmann: Bertelsmann Transformation Index 2006, ranked 75th out of 119 countries
  • Reporters without borders: Annual worldwide press freedom index (2005), ranked 74th out of 167 countries
  • The Wall Street Journal: 2005 Index of Economic Freedom, ranked 77th out of 155 countries
  • The Economist: The World in 2005 - Worldwide quality-of-life index, 2005, ranked 99th out of 111 countries
  • Transparency International: Corruption Perceptions Index 2005, ranked 88th out of 158 countries
  • United Nations Development Programme: Human Development Index 2005, ranked 116th out of 177 countries
  • World Economic Forum: Global Competitiveness Report 2005-2006 - Growth Competitiveness Index Ranking, ranked 82nd out of 117 countries
  • World Bank: Doing Business 2006, ranked 83rd out of 155
  • World Bank: Ease of Starting a Business 2006, ranked 69th out of 155
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: Foreign Direct Investment Performance Index 2004, ranked 35th out of 140
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