Republic of Moldova

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Template:Wikinews 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 the territory was a part of the Principality of Moldavia, which was later split until in 1918 it fully became part of Greater Romania. Annexed by the Soviet Union, during 1940-1941, 1945-1991 it was known as as the Moldavian SSR. Moldova declared its independence on 27 August 1991. Template:Infobox Country

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 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 Bugeac) 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 Ottoman Bessarabia or Bugeac. 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 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.

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 settlement of Transnistrian conflict. In the following election held in 2005, the Communist party made 180 degree U-turn towards west and was re-elected on the pro-western bases. Vladimir Voronin was re-elected for a second term as a president. During the 2005 parliamentary elections Russian Federation tried to influence election process by intensively covering favourable pro-Russian candidates on the Russian mass media and by organize meetings and agitation campaigns using Russian CIS EMO 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 Moldavian authority denied entries to Moldavian Republic for the members of the CIS EMO organization. Some of the members that made they way into the Moldavian Republic were found distributing leaflets and actively participating in the election campaign not having a valid Moldavian passports or any prove of Moldavian citizenship or any permission from the election authority. These members were consequently deported from the country. This action angered Russian side.

As a consequence, the Russian-Moldovan ties have greatly weakened, and the nation is split between building ties with the west or Russia.

In 1992, Moldova was involved in a short-term war against Russian armed forces and Ukrainian kazaks units. Units of kazaks (Ukrainian mercenaries) fought, supported by and alongside the Russian 14th army. Transnistrian war broke up with an attack of Russian mercenaries on the Moldovan town of Dubosari, situated on the eastern bank of river Dniestr, but non-loyal to the separatist regime. Since 1992, Russia has maintained a military occupation of the eastern regions of Republic of Moldova. The puppet pro-Russian Transnistrian Moldavian Republic separatist regime established in the occupied territory is undemocratic, and since 1992 no rotations in the political power have taken place in this area. The Transnistrian regime has enforced Russification, the denationalization of ethnic Ukrainians and the discrimination against Moldovans. In the summer of 2004, Transnistrian authorities forcibly closed six Moldavian schools from Tiraspol, Tighina/Bender, and Rîbniţa that used Romanian language in the Latin script. A number of 3,400 enrolled children were affected by this measure. Several teachers and parents who opposed the closures were arrested.

Ştefan cel Mare

Ştefan cel Mare şi Sfânt ("Stephen the Great and Holy"), 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 Moldova and Romania.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Moldova

File:Moldova map.gif
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:

Partidul Comuniştilor din Republica Moldova
(45.98% votes, 56 mandates)
  • Electoral Bloc “Moldova Democrata” (BMD)
Blocul electoral “Moldova Democrată
(28.53% votes, 34 mandates)
  • Christian Democratic Peoples Party (CDPP)
Partidul Popular Creştin Democrat
(9.07% votes, 11 mandates)

2001 Parliamentary Elections:

Partidul Comuniştilor
(50.07% votes, 71 mandates)
  • Electoral Bloc "Braghis Alliance" (BEAB)
Blocul Electoral "Alianţa Braghiş"
(13.36% votes, 19 mandates)
  • Christian Democratic People's Party (CDPP)
Partidul Popular Creştin Democrat
(8.24% votes, 11 mandates)

Administrative divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of Moldova

File:Moldadm.png
Administrative division

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. Făleşti 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

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

Main article: Geography 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 Bender.

See List of cities in Moldova

Economy

Main article: Economy of Moldova

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 (803 USD as of 2005).

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Moldova
File:Moldova ethnic coposition.jpg
Ethnic Composition - 1989


Ethnic composition

(according to the 2004 census)

About 2004 census
According to a May 19 2005 story in "Moldova Azi" news agency (see [1]), 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.

Religions

(2000)

Education and Science

In 2004, the investments volume on the telecommunications and information market in the Republic of Moldova increased by 30,1% in comparison with 2003, achieving 825, 3 million lei (65,5 million dollars by the exchange rate of the NMB). 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 investments volume remained the same in the field of fixed telephone communication.

The specialists of the National Agency for Telecommunications and Information Regulation mentioned that dynamic of investments done in 2003-2004 years in the development of telecommunication and information of the Republic of Moldova shows that in 2005 their volume would exceed the level of the last year. In their opinion, this increase will be determined by 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 communications “Voxtel” and “Moldcell” in the development of infrastructure, also by means orientated to the extension and improvement of access services to Internet by new broadband technologies.

Culture

Main article: Culture of Moldova

Tourism in Moldova

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.

Miscellaneous topics

See also

Notes

^  Experts Offering to Consult the National Statistics Bureau in Evaluation of the Census Data, Moldova Azi, May 19, 2005, story attributed to AP Flux. Retrieved October 11, 2005.

References

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External links

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