Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova (Moldovan and

Romanian: Republica Moldova) is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldovan SSR in 1991, as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. A strip of Moldova's internationally recognized territory on the east bank of the river Dniester has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990. The country is a parliamentary republic and democracy with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. Moldova is a member state of the United Nations, Council of Europe, WTO, OSCE, GUAM, CIS, BSEC and other international organizations. Moldova currently aspires to join the European Union,[6] and has implemented the first three-year Action Plan within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).[7]

Etymology
Main article: Name of Moldova The name "Moldova" is derived from the Moldova River; the valley of this river was a political center when the Principality of Moldavia was founded in 1359.[8] The origin of the name of the river is not clear. There is an account (a legend) of prince Dragoş naming the river after hunting an aurochs: after the chase, his exhausted hound Molda drowned in the river. According to Dimitrie Cantemir and Grigore Ureche, the dog's name was given to the river and extended to the Principality.

1991 the Soviet Union ceased to exist. On January 2. the Parliament adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty of the "Soviet Socialist Republic Moldova". supported by elements of the 14th Army. 1995. and the Moldovan police. Declaring itself a neutral state.[36] After the failure of the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt. 1992. and where the headquarters and many units of the Soviet 14th Guards Army were stationed. The early 2000s also saw a considerable growth of emigration of Moldovans looking for work (mostly illegally) in Russia (especially Moscow region). On December 21 of the same year Moldova. it did not join the military branch of the CIS. liberalizing prices. with its capital in Tiraspol. the country gained formal recognition as an independent state at the United Nations. 1992. 1992. while Moldovans (40%) have been the largest ethnic group. Between March 2 and July 26. Moldova declared its independence. the young country suffered a serious economic crisis. 1990 The first democratic elections for the local parliament were held in February and March 1990. along with most of the other Soviet republics. and until 2008 the country has seen a steady annual growth of between 5% and 10%. Italy. 1990.[36] In the region east of the Dniester river. In 1994. Three months later. an independent Pridnestrovian Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed on August 16. On June 23. Mircea Snegur was elected as Speaker of the Parliament. which includes a large proportion of predominantly russophone East Slavs of Ukrainian (28%) and Russian (26%) descent (altogether 54% as of 1989). On December 26. among other things. the Moldovan leu. Moldova became a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace program and also a member of the Council of Europe on June 29. signed the constitutive act that formed the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Moldova introduced a market economy. Moldova received official recognition on December 25. Spain. 1991. stipulated the supremacy of Moldovan laws over those of the Soviet Union. which. and Mircea Druc as Prime Minister. Portugal. In 1993.[36] The motives behind this move were fear of the rise of nationalism in Moldova and the country's expected reunification with Romania upon secession from the USSR.Independence Gheorghe Ghimpu (a deputy) replaces the Soviet flag over the Parliament with the national one on April 27. 1990. a national currency. Transnistria. Greece. The economy of Moldova began to change in 2001. In the winter of 1991-1992 clashes occurred between Transnistrian forces. on March 2. the conflict escalated into a military engagement. which resulted in rapid inflation. was introduced to replace the temporary cupon. on August 27. leaving most of the population below the poverty line. From 1992 to 2001. .

2001. 2008). the Parliament of Moldova adopted a "Law on the Special Legal Status of Gagauzia". who was President of Moldova since 2001. and the Alliance "Moldova Noastră" with 9. and in 1995 the latter was constituted. 1997. The controversial results of this election sparked a civil unrest[40][41] In August 2009.43%. 2010. he will be serving as the Acting President of Republic of Moldova. Turkey. succeeding Mircea Snegur (1991–1996). and Our Moldova Alliance – agreed to create a governing coalition that pushed the Communist party into opposition.48% of the votes. with the president being chosen through indirect election rather than direct popular vote. and Zinaida Greceanîi (March 31. In 2001–2003 relations between Moldova and Russia improved.9% of the vote. . remittances from Moldovans abroad account for almost 38% of Moldova's GDP. elected Vladimir Voronin as the country's third president (re-elected in 2005). In 2000. 2008 – September 14.[36] and the new Constitution gave autonomy to the breakaway Transnistria and Gagauzia. 2009). eventually resigned on September 11. On August 28. Democratic Party. On December 23. the second-highest percentage in the world. Winning 49. Petru Lucinschi. After the constitutional referendum aimed to approve the reform failed in September 2010. the Constitution was amended. 1994. Plans for a union with Romania were abandoned. this coalition has chosen a new parliament speaker (Mihai Ghimpu) in a vote that was boycotted by Communist legislators. and on April 4. With the nationalist Popular Front now a parliamentary minority. transforming Moldova into a parliamentary republic. The country became the first post-Soviet state where a non-reformed Communist Party returned to power. culminating in the 2006 wine exports crisis. four Moldovan parties – Liberal Democratic Party. Liberal Party. the former First Secretary of the Moldavian Communist Party in 1989-91. the Democratic Agrarian Party gained a majority of the seats. Vladimir Voronin. setting a turning point in Moldovan politics. gained 71 of the 101 MPs. After winning the 1996 presidential elections. the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova (reinstituted in 1993 after being outlawed in 1991).14% of the votes. became the country's second president (1997–2001). the Liberal Democratic Party with 12. 2009 Moldova civil unrest at the Parliament building In the April 2009 parliamentary elections.[42] the parliament was dissolved again and a new parliamentary election was scheduled for 28 November 2010.77%. and other countries. 2001 – March 31.[39] In the 1994 parliamentary elections. on January 15. The acting president Mihai Ghimpu instituted the Commission for constitutional reform in Moldova to adopt a new version of the Constitution of Moldova. 2009.Cyprus. In accordance with the Constitution.[43] On December 30. but then temporarily deteriorated in 2003–2006. in the wake of the failure of the Kozak memorandum. Marian Lupu was elected as the Speaker of the Parliament. new measures aiming to moderate the ethnic tensions in the country could be adopted.[36] New governments were formed by Vasile Tarlev (April 19. followed by the Liberal Party with 13. but the Parliament failed to elect a new president. the Communist Party won 49. 2009.

575 ft). the Dniester is the main river. Lower Prut Valley. Tiraspol (in the eastern region of Transnistria). Many families have their own recipes and strands of grapes that have been passed down through the generations. The country is landlocked. Botna. "Codri" meaning "forests"). and Giurgiuleşti is the only Moldovan port on the Danube. the Dniester and the Prut. the Bugeac Plain. Its subdivisions in Moldova include Dniester Hills (Northern Moldavian Hills and Dniester Ridge). while Cogâlnic into the Black Sea chain of limans. Bălţi (in the north) and Bender (in the south-east).000 hectares (360. The largest part of the nation lies between two rivers. Most of the country's wine production is made for export. of which 102. and Central Moldavian Plateau (Ciuluc-Soloneţ Hills. Lower Dniester Hills. the country has a small flatland.000 acres).411 ft) — the highest point being the Bălăneşti Hill.000 acres) are used for commercial production. Bâc. which geologically originate from the Carpathian Mountains. Ichel. elevations never exceed 430 m (1. folklore. flowing through the country from north to south. The western border of Moldova is formed by the Prut river. and the Moldovan spoken language. The country has a well established wine industry. receiving the waters of Răut. which joins the Danube before flowing into the Black Sea. Evidence of this is present in historical memorials and documents. While most of the country is hilly. Moldova has access to the Danube for only about 480 m (1.Geography Main article: Geography of Moldova Dniester valley view Moldova lies between latitudes 45° and 49° N. and Tigheci Hills). It has a vineyard area of 147. Wine industry Main articles: Moldovan wine and Moldovan wine producers Moldova is known for its wines. the economic reform started with the land cadastre reform . The territory of Moldova east of the river Dniester is split between parts of the Podolian Plateau. and a major supplier of agricultural products in southeastern Europe. and parts of the Eurasian Steppe. in the center of the country. Moldova's hills are part of the Moldavian Plateau. [edit] Agriculture Main article: Agriculture of Moldova Moldova's rich soil and temperate continental climate (with warm summers and mild winters) have made the country one of the most productive agricultural regions since ancient times. Moldavian Plain (Middle Prut Valley and Bălţi Steppe).500 ha (253. Corneşti Hills (Codri Massive. In the east. and mostly between meridians 26° and 30° E (a small area lies east of 30°). Ialpug flows into one of the Danube limans. In the south. even though it is very close to the Black Sea. For many years viticulture and winemaking in Moldova were the general occupation of the population. Comrat is the administrative center of Gagauzia. In agriculture. The country's main cities are the capital Chişinău.

[63] Russian is provided with the status of a "language of interethnic communication" (alongside the official language). Gagauz and Ukrainian have significant regional speaker populations and are granted official status together with Russian in Gagauzia and Transnistria respectively.4%) populations. including 130. there are 541. Moldovan language. and in practice remains widely used on all levels of the society and the state.[ . By contrast. with the word "Română" sprayed onto it The Constitution of 1994 states that the national language of the Republic of Moldova is Moldovan.[59][60] The 1989 State Language Law speaks of a Moldo-Romanian linguistic identity.000 ethnic Moldovans. and its writing is based on the Latin alphabet[58]. with the glottonym "Moldovan" used in certain political contexts.[62] As of the 2004 census. the Communist government adopted a national political conception which states that one of the priorities of the national politics of the Republic of Moldova is the insurance of the existence of the Moldovan language. the country has significant Russian (6%) and Ukrainian (8. and Romanian language A Limba noastră social ad in Chişinău.Languages Main articles: Languages of Moldova. During 2003-2009. The 1991 Declaration of Independence names the official language Romanian. 35% of Bulgarians. 27% of Gagauz. and 54% of smaller ethnic groups speak Russian as first language.000 people (or 16% of the population) in Moldova who use Russian as first language. There is a political controversy over the name of the main ethnicity of the Republic of Moldova. The above-mentioned national political conception also states that Russian-Moldovan bilingualism is characteristic for Moldova. only 47.[61][62] Scholars agree that Moldovan and Romanian are the same language.000 members of ethnic minorities use Romanian as first language. In total. 50% of ethnic Ukrainians. Crime Main article: Crime in Moldova The CIA World Factbook lists widespread crime and underground economic activity among major crime issues in Moldova.

most illegally.Emigration Main article: Emigration from Moldova Emigration is a mass phenomenon in Moldova and has a major impact on the country's demographics and economy.000 to one million Moldovan citizens (almost 25% of the population) are working abroad. The Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service has estimated that 600. .