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This article refers to the Republic of Moldova. For information about the adjacent Romanian region, see Moldavia. For other meanings see Moldova (disambiguation)

The Republic of Moldova is a landlocked country in eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the east. Its border with Romania follows the Prut and lower Danube rivers. Formerly a part of the Soviet Union as the Moldavian SSR, it occupies most of the territory formerly known as Bessarabia (in Romanian, Basarabia), together with areas on the eastern bank of the Dniestr river, called Transnistria, added in 1940.

Republica Moldova
Flag of Moldova Moldova: Coat of Arms
(In Detail)
National motto: None
Official language Moldovan (Romanian)
(+ Russian in Transnistria and Gagauzia, Ukrainian in Transnistria, Gagauz in Gagauzia)
Capital Chişinău
PresidentVladimir Voronin
Prime MinisterVasile Tarlev
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 135th
33,843 km²

 - Total (2002)

 - Density
Ranked 116th


 - Date
From the Soviet Union
August 27, 1991
Currency Leu (pl. lei)
Time zone UTC +2
National anthem Limba noastră
Calling Code373


Main article: History of Moldova

Moldova'Dacia" title ="Dacia">Dacians. Situated on a strategic 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 province of Bessarabia (including most of present-day Moldova but including also districts to the north and south) 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, but in 1812 the Treaty of Bucharest transferred Bessarabia to Russia. The western part of Moldavia later became part of Romania.

Following the Russian Revolution, Bessarabia became an independent republic in 1918, and united with Kingdom of Romania that same year. The Soviet Union occupied Bessarabia in June 1940 in an agreement with Germany expressed in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact , and though forced out again in 1941, Soviet troops reoccupied the area in August 1944. Under Soviet rule the southern and northern parts (inhabited by Ukrainians and Romanians) were transferred to Ukraine and Transnistria (largely inhabited by Russians) joined with the remainder in a Soviet republic called the "Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic" covering Moldova'Siberia" title ="Siberia">Siberia and Kazakhstan.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in August 1991, Moldova declared its independence, becoming a member of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States, that December, along with most of the former Soviet republics.

Initially, there was a movement to reunite with Romania, but a March 1994 referendum saw an overwhelming majority of voters favouring continued independence. In the 2001 elections, the Communist party won a majority of seats in the Parliament and appointed a Communist president.


Main article: Politics of Moldova

The unicameral Moldovan parliament, the 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.

The largest party in the parliament is currently the Communist Party of Moldova (Partidul Comuniştilor din Republica Moldova, or PCRM), which also supplies the current president.

Administrative divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of Moldova

Out of date map of Moldova showing old subdivisions
Out of date map of Moldova showing old subdivisions

Moldova is divided into 32 districts (raion, pl. raioane), 3 municipalities (Chişinău, Bălţi and Bender), two semi-autonomous regions (Găgăuzia and the breakaway region of Transnistria, whose status is still disputed). The districts are:

1. Anenii Noi 2. Basarabeasca 3. Briceni 4. Cahul 5. Cantemir 6. Călăraşi 7. Căuşeni 8. Cimişlia 9. Criuleni 10. Donduşeni 11. Drochia 12. Dubăsari 13. Edineţ 14. Faleşti 15. Floreşti 16. Glodeni 17. Hînceşti 18. Ialoveni 19. Leova 20. Nisporeni 21. Ocniţa 22. Orhei 23. Rezina 24. Rîşcani 25. Sîngerei 26. Soroca 27. Străşeni 28. Şoldăneşti 29. Ştefan Voda 30. Taraclia 31. Teleneşti 32. Ungheni

Formerly (from the late 1990s until February 2003), Moldova was made up of the following 9 counties (judeţe):

Before being divided into counties (during the Soviet times and up until the late 1990s), Moldova had been composed of 40 districts. These territorial and administrative changes over such short periods of time are simply a reflection of the current main policy of the ruling party or coalition (therefore, the ruling Communist Party, which favors the old-style Soviet districts, reinstated them two years after they got to power in 2001).

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 1992, fearing Moldovan unification with Romania. Russian and Ukrainian forces intervened, and remain there to keep the peace. The OSCE is involved in negotiations between the Transnistrian leaders and Chişinău.

As no other nation recognises Transnistria, it is de jure a part of Moldova, although in reality it is not controlled by the Moldovan government.


Main article: Geography of Moldova

Map 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 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'Chisinau" title ="Chisinau">Chişinău, in the centre of the country, Tiraspol (in Transnistria), Bălţi and Bender.


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 economic liberalisation 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. 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 liberalisation is 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.


Main article: Demographics of Moldova

Ethnicities (1989 est.):

  • Romanian (Moldovan) 64.5%
  • Ukrainian 13.8%
  • Russian 13%
  • Jewish 1.5%
  • Bulgarian 2%
  • Gagauz and other 5.2%

Religions (2000):

As many as a million Moldovans are currently out of the country seeking work, while one third of those who remain state that they would leave if they had a chance.


Main article: Culture of Moldova

Miscellaneous topics

See also

  • Moldavia, an adjacent region of Romania.

External links

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