The Moldova reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Moldova

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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 left (eastern) bank of the Dniestr river added in 1940.

Republica Moldova
Flag of Moldova
Moldova: Coat of Arms
(In Detail)
National motto: None
image:LocationMoldova.png
Official language Moldovan (Romanian)
(+ Russian in Transnistria and Gagauzia, Ukrainian in Transnistria, Gagauz in Gagauzia)
Capital Chişinău
PresidentVladimir Voronin
Prime MinisterVasile Tarlev
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 135th
33,843 kmò
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
1 History
2 Politics
3 Counties
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 See also
10 External links

History

Main article: History of Moldova

Moldova's territory was inhabited in ancient times by 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 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 Bessarabia in June 1940, 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's current territory.

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.

Politics

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 Moldova, or PCM), which also supplies the current president.


Counties

Main article:
Counties of Moldova

Administrative map of Moldova
Out of date map of Moldova showing old subdivisions | full-size version


Moldova is divided into 32 Rayons, or judeţe, 3 municipalities (Chişinău, Bălţi and Bender), two semi-autonomous regions (Gagausia) and the breakaway region of Transnistria, whose status is still disputed.

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, it was made up of the following 9 counties:

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 Ukrainianss - 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.

Geography

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's main cities are the capital Chişinău, in the centre of the country, Tiraspol (in Transnistria), Bălţi and Bendery.

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 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.

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 Găgăuz (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.

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.

Culture

Main article: Culture of Moldova

Miscellaneous topics

See also

External links


Countries in Europe
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