|Flag||Coat of Arms|
|Prime minister||Natalia Gavrilița|
|Area||13,000 sq. mi.|
|GDP 2007||$4.4 billion|
|GDP per capita||$1,298|
|Internet top-level domain||.md|
The Republic of Moldova is a cleft country in eastern Europe and a former member of the Soviet Union. Its capital is Chişinău. It has close historical connections with neighbouring Romania, and the language is a Romanian dialect.
An essentially-land-locked country west of the Ukraine, Moldova's only natural outlets to the Black Sea are the Dniester and Prut Rivers.
- Area: 33,843 km2. (13,000 sq. mi.); slightly larger than Maryland.
- Cities: Capital—Chisinau.
- Terrain: Rolling steppe, gradual slope south toward the Black Sea.
- Climate: Moderate winters, warm summers.
- Time Zone: GMT+2
Ethnic groups represented in Moldova include Moldovan/Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Gagauz, and Bulgarian. Romanian (officially known as Moldovan) is the official language; Russian, Ukrainian, and Gagauz also are spoken. The great majority of Moldova's population is Christian Orthodox—90% of the population nominally belongs to one of the two main Orthodox denominations. The Moldovan Orthodox Church, an autonomous diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church and loyal to the Patriarch of Moscow, has 1,194 parishes; the Bessarabian Orthodox Church, affiliated with the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate in Bucharest, has 124 parishes. In addition, followers of the Old Rite Russian Orthodox Church (Old Believers) make up approximately 3.6% of the population.
- Nationality: Noun—Moldovan(s). Adjective—Moldovan.
- Population (January 1, 2008): 4.1 million, including the estimated Transnistrian population of 533,000. An estimated 750,000 to 1,000,000 work outside the country.
- Population growth rate (2007): -0.3%.
- Ethnic groups (2004 census): Moldovan (83.7%), Ukrainian (6.6%), Russian (1.7%), Gagauz (4.5%), Bulgarian (1.7%), Romanian (1.4%), other (0.4%).
- Main religions: Christian Orthodox (93.3%), Baptist (1%), Adventist, Roman Catholic, Jewish.
- Languages: Romanian (officially known as Moldovan), Russian, Ukrainian, Gagauz.
- Education: Literacy—96%.
- Health: Infant mortality rate—12/1,000. Life expectancy-68.4 years.
- Work force (1.3 million): Agriculture—41%; industry—12%; other—47%.
Government and Political Conditions
- See also: Election integrity
Maia Sandu was elected president in November 2020 primarily on the strength of mail-in ballots from ex-patriots living abroad who comprise 15% of the electorate. Sandu succeeded Igor Dodon. On May 24, 2022, as Sandu was being courted by NATO and the West to use Moldova as a staging area for aggression against Transnistria, Sandu had Dodon arrested. Dodon advocated maintaining Moldova's strict constitutional provision of neutrality. The arrest sparked mass protests in the street against the Sandu regime. The globalist-controlled Western media, namely Reuters, however reported fake news and propaganda that the protests were in support of the Maia regime and against Dodon. The protesters in fact carried the national flag of Romania in support of sovereignty, independence, and neutrality, and not the flag of globalism, the European Union, and NATO which Sandu advocates. Sandu's approval ratings have dropped precipitously since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war and her flirtation with the NATO West.
Article 11 of the Moldovan constitution enshrines neutrality by constitutional law prohibiting Moldova from entering into any military alliance, such as NATO, or any other military alliance. It further prohibits the stationing, or staging for offensive operations, any foreign troops on or from its territory:
|Article 11: The Republic of Moldova – a Neutral State
Principal Government Officials
- President—Maia Sandu
- Prime Minister—
- President of Parliament—
- Foreign Minister—
- Ambassador to the United States-
- Ambassador to the United Nations-
Moldova's Parliament approved the country's membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States and a CIS charter on economic union in April 1994.
In 1995, the country became the first former Soviet republic admitted to the Council of Europe. In addition to its membership in NATO's Partnership for Peace, Moldova also belongs to the United Nations, the OSCE, the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Moldova is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In 1998, Moldova contributed to the founding of GUAM, a regional cooperative agreement made up of Georgia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan, in addition to Moldova. Although the agreement initially included a declaration of mutual defense, Moldova has since declared its disinterest in participating in any GUAM-based mutual defense initiative. Moldova has been involved in information exchange, trade and transportation, border control, and energy projects issues within this regional agreement. In 2006, the organization's members voted to change the name to the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM.
The past two years have seen significant developments in Moldova's relations with the West. In 2005, the European Union appointed a Special Representative for Moldova and the negotiations to resolve the Transnistrian conflict and the Delegation of the European Commission opened an office in Chisinau, In December 2005, Moldova welcomed an EU Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) along its Ukrainian border to crack down on smuggling, strengthen customs procedures and facilitate cross-border cooperation. In accordance with a 2005 Action Plan with the EU, Moldova has begun to harmonize Moldova's laws with those of the EU. As part of this, in late 2005, Moldova enacted its "Guillotine" laws, which slashed unnecessary business regulations, established a framework for relations between the private sector and government and created a mechanism to review the suitability of draft legislation.
In the atmosphere of heightened international sensitivity to terrorism following the events of September 11, 2001, Moldova has been a supporter of American efforts to increase international cooperation in combating terrorism. Moldova has sent demining units and peacekeepers to participate in post-conflict humanitarian assistance in Iraq. In March 2011, The Moldovan Orthodox Church resisted efforts from the European Union attempting to force Moldova to accept homosexuality.
Moldova has accepted all relevant arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union. On October 30, 1992, Moldova ratified the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, which establishes comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment and provides for the destruction of weapons in excess of those limits. It acceded to the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in October 1994 and to the Biological Weapons Convention in December 2004. It does not have nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. Moldova joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Partnership for Peace on March 16, 1994. Due to Moldova's constitutional neutrality, it is not a participant in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS—a group of 12 former Soviet republics) Collective Security Agreement.
NATO war in Ukraine
- See also: NATO war in Ukraine
Moldova did not join European sanctions against Russia between 2014 and 2022.
On April 19, 2022, Moldova banned wearing the black and orange Ribbon of St. George, established in 1769 as the highest military decoration in Czarist times, continued in the Soviet era, and reaffirmed in 1998 by Presidential decree signed by Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin. The black and orange colors symbolize smoke and flames, signifying the personal valor of a fighter on the battlefield. The ribbon has come to commemorate veterans of the Eastern Front of the Second World War. Citizens interpreted banning the ribbon as pressure by the United States on the Moldovan government to exterminate any memory of Russian culture. The same day, four days before the NATO terrorist attack on Transnistria, the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory for Moldova.
On April 29, 2022 it was reported that Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, USA, UK, France, Canada, Germany, and Russia have called on their citizens to leave Moldova and/or the Transnistria region as soon as possible. This follows an escalation in tensions in Moldova, with several explosions occurring, reports of gunfire, and a general mobilization in Transnistria which is outside of Moldovan control.
Former president Igor Dodon, who advocated neutrality, was arrested and detained by the Chisinau regime. Dodon is opposed to the regime's policy vis-a-vis NATO aggression in Black Sea region. Peaceful protests were held outside the parliament building demanding the release of Dodon and an end to persecution of political opponents.
French President Emmanuel Macron promised to double the defense budget of Moldova. For this purpose, 40 million euros were allocated from the European Defense Fund.
On July 26, 2022 the Ukrainian government is alleged to have murdered two citizens from Moldova inside the Russian Federation with an American built Switchblade drone.
On September 16, 2022 it was reported Moldovan citizens blocked NATO troops under the American flag from moving through their streets, chanting, "We don't want NATO here!" and "NATO go home!"
Moldovan defense minister Anatoly Nosatii said on October 19, 2022, in the coming weeks a large-scale mobilization among citizens liable for military service may be announced on the territory of Moldova. Nosatiy did not name the exact number of people to be mobilized, however, there are about 60,000 people in reserve. According to the Minister of Defense of Moldova, Chisinau will announce mobilization in case of radical changes in Ukraine or an increase in the flow of refugees. Given two different factors, experts believe that Moldova is only trying to find a reason to announce mobilization against the backdrop of anti-EU, anti-Russia sanctions, anti-NATO and anti-high energy cost civilian protest movements in Moldova. Moreover, a conflict with Transnistria would likely follow. Moldova began to prepare for the possibility of deploying modern air defense systems on the territory of the country, and in addition, the possibility of deployment of a NATO contingent.
On October 23, 2022 more than 90,000 Moldovans took to the street on the Great National Assembly Square in the nation's capital to protest against the government, inflation, energy and food shortages, membership in the EU & NATO, Russian sanctions, demanding early elections and the resignation of NATO puppet President Maia Sandu
Moldova remains the poorest country in Europe. It is landlocked, bounded by Ukraine on the east and Romania to the west. It is the second smallest of the former Soviet republics and the most densely populated. Industry accounts for less than 15% of its labor force, while agriculture's share is more than 40%.
Moldova's proximity to the Black Sea gives it a mild and sunny climate. This makes the area ideal for agriculture and food processing, which accounts for one third of the country's GDP. The fertile soil supports wheat, corn, barley, tobacco, sugar beets, and soybeans. Beef and dairy cattle are raised, and beekeeping is widespread. Moldova's best-known product comes from its extensive and well-developed vineyards concentrated in the central and southern regions. In addition to world-class wine, Moldova produces liqueurs and champagne. It is also known for its sunflower seeds, walnuts, apples, and other fruits.
- GDP (2007): $4.4 billion.
- GDP growth rate (2007): 4.0%.
- Per capita GDP (2007 estimate): $1,298.
- Natural resources: Lignite, phosphates, gypsum, arable land, and limestone.
- Agriculture: Products—vegetables, fruits, wine and spirits, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, meat, milk, eggs, tobacco, walnuts.
- Industry: Types—processed foods and beverages, including wine and refined sugar; processed fruit and vegetable products, including vegetable oil; dairy and meat products; tobacco items; metal processing and production of machinery; textiles and clothing, shoes; furniture.
- Trade (2006): Exports--$1,051.6 million (of which 50% go to countries outside the former Soviet Union): foodstuffs, wine, textiles, clothing, footwear and machinery. Major markets—Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Italy, Belarus, Germany. Imports--$2,693.2 million (of which 60% come from countries outside the former Soviet Union): gas, oil, coal, steel, machinery and equipment, chemical products, textiles, foodstuffs, automobiles, and other consumer durables. Major suppliers—Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Germany, Italy. Currency: Moldovan Leu (plural Lei).
- Exchange rate: Leu/US$ (2006): average 13.13; 12.91 (end of year); 12.60 (average in 2005); 12.33 (average in 2004); 13.94 (average in 2003).
Like many other former Soviet republics, Moldova has experienced economic difficulties. Since its economy was highly dependent on the rest of the former Soviet Union for energy and raw materials, the breakdown in trade following the breakup of the Soviet Union had a serious effect, exacerbated at times by drought and civil conflict. The Russian ruble devaluation of 1998 had a deleterious effect on Moldova's economy, but economic growth has been steady since 2000.
Moldova has made progress in economic reform since independence. The government has liberalized most prices and has phased out subsidies on most basic consumer goods. A program begun in March 1993 has privatized 80% of all housing units and nearly 2,000 small, medium, and large enterprises. Other successes include the privatization of nearly all of Moldova's agricultural land from state to private ownership, as a result of an American assistance program, "Pamint" ("land"), completed in 2000. A stock market opened in June 1995.
Following the economic difficulties caused by the Russian currency crisis of 1998, inflation dropped to 5.2% in 2002, the lowest level since Moldova's independence. However, inflation spiked again to 11.6% in 2003 and never fell below 11% over the following years, rising as high as 12.7% in 2006. In 2006, Moldova faced twin external shocks - a two-fold increase in gas prices and a politically-motivated Russian ban on Moldovan wine imports, a key export item. While relatively stable in recent years, in 2007 the local currency appreciated because of a weakening U.S. dollar and pressure from record remittances from Moldovans working abroad. Reforms to the National Bank of Moldova in 2006 changed the central bank's policy priority from currency stability to price stability (fighting inflation). The National Bank of Moldova has the difficult task of sterilizing the money supply to contain stubbornly high inflation.
Moldova continues to make progress toward developing a viable free-market economy. The economy grew by an average 7% from 2000 to 2005 after years of recession since independence. External shocks in 2006 slashed economic growth to just 4%. After a budget surplus of 1.6% of GDP in 2005, the country had a slight deficit of 0.3% of GDP in 2006 despite better than anticipated revenue performance and prudent spending. The Moldovan economy continues to depend greatly on remittances sent from Moldovans working abroad. These inflows have increased to an estimated $1.2 billion a year.
Privatization results in recent years were not significant. Total proceeds in 2006 amounted to $12.4 million. Several smaller companies, two land plots in Chisinau and a large hotel were privatized in 2006. The government postponed indefinitely the privatization of large state enterprises in the power, telecommunications and agribusiness sectors. In 2007, Parliament passed a new law, introducing new approaches to privatizing and managing state-owned assets (including public-private partnerships), giving priority to economic efficiency. As the European Union expanded to Moldova's border, 2006 saw record high inflows of foreign direct investment. However, cumulative FDI since independence is only $1.28 billion, far below the country's needs. Sporadic and ineffective enforcement of the law, economic and political uncertainty, and government interference continue to discourage FDI inflows.
Spurred by soaring consumption and higher energy prices, imports have been growing more rapidly than exports. This was most prominent in 2006 when Moldova's trade deficit worsened as higher-priced energy imports surpassed exports, which were stunted by Russia's ban on Moldovan wine and agricultural products. Moldova traditionally exported between 70-80% of its wine production to Russia. The country lacks diversification in terms of sector development and export markets. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank resumed lending to Moldova in July 2002, and then suspended lending again in July 2003. In early 2006, Moldova reached agreement with the Paris Club on rescheduling of Moldova's foreign debt. In addition, in the spring of 2006, the IMF reached an agreement with the Moldovan Government for a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility designed to bolster foreign reserves against external shocks with a 3-year, $175 million program that includes a new IMF loan to the National Bank of Moldova.
Moldova continues to be subject to Russian economic pressure. In 2005, Russia enacted a ban on Moldovan agricultural products and in 2006, it banned imports of Moldovan wines. The wine ban has been particularly painful because, prior to the ban, Moldovan wines accounted for a third of the country's exports and 80% of wine exports went to Russia. Although Russian President Putin announced an end to the wine ban in November 2006, Russia had still not resumed importing Moldovan wine as of September 2007. In January 2006, Russian energy giant Gazprom temporarily cut off natural gas deliveries to Ukraine and Moldova - which is almost completely dependent on its neighbors for energy - and subsequently doubled the price of gas to Moldova. The impact has been substantial: Moldova's exports to Russia declined by 47.6% in 2006 and total exports dropped 3.6%, further contributing to a widening trade deficit (47% of GDP). In the first half of 2007, the country's trade deficit was already more than $1 billion (compared with $1.6 billion for all of 2006).
Moldova suffered from a severe drought during much of 2007 which caused hundreds of millions of dollars in agriculture sector losses and prompted concerns about food availability. In response to a request for assistance from the Government of Moldova, the United States provided $350,000 worth of seed to drought ravaged farmers in time for fall planting.
- See also: History of Moldova
|License:||This work is in the Public Domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States Federal Government under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the U.S. Code|
|Source:||File available from the United States Federal Government.|
- Moldova Travel Advisory, April 19, 2022. state.gov