Introduction ::Moldova
Part of Romania during the interwar period, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although the country has been independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting the Slavic majority population, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, who have proclaimed a "Transnistria" republic. One of the poorest nations in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist, Vladimir VORONIN, as its president in 2001. VORONIN served as Moldova's president until he resigned in September 2009, following the opposition's gain of a narrow majority in July parliamentary elections and the Communist Party's (PCRM) subsequent inability to attract the three-fifths of parliamentary votes required to elect a president. Moldova's four opposition parties formed a new coalition, the Alliance for European Integration (AEI), which will act as Moldova's governing coalition until new parliamentary elections can be held, possibly in summer 2010. Moldova experienced significant political uncertainty in 2009, holding two general elections (in April and July) and four presidential ballots in parliament, all of which failed to secure a president.
Geography ::Moldova
Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania
47 00 N, 29 00 E
total: 33,851 sq km
country comparison to the world: 139
land: 32,891 sq km
water: 960 sq km
slightly larger than Maryland
total: 1,390 km
border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 940 km
0 km (landlocked)
none (landlocked)
Current Weather
moderate winters, warm summers
rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea
lowest point: Dniester River 2 m
highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m
lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone
arable land: 54.52%
permanent crops: 8.81%
other: 36.67% (2005)
3,000 sq km (2003)
11.7 cu km (1997)
total: 2.31 cu km/yr (10%/58%/33%)
per capita: 549 cu m/yr (2000)
heavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from poor farming methods
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone
People ::Moldova
4,320,748 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
0-14 years: 15.9% (male 353,495/female 334,592)
15-64 years: 73.3% (male 1,536,263/female 1,629,882)
65 years and over: 10.8% (male 172,070/female 294,446) (2010 est.)
total: 35 years
male: 33.1 years
female: 37.1 years (2010 est.)
-0.079% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
11.12 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 177
10.78 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
-1.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
urban population: 42% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: -1.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.059 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
total: 13.13 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 137
male: 14.57 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
total population: 70.8 years
country comparison to the world: 136
male: 67.1 years
female: 74.71 years (2010 est.)
1.28 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
0.4% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
8,900 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
fewer than 100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
noun: Moldovan(s)
adjective: Moldovan
Moldovan/Romanian 78.2%, Ukrainian 8.4%, Russian 5.8%, Gagauz 4.4%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 1.3% (2004 census)
note: internal disputes with ethnic Slavs in the Transnistrian region
Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5% (2000)
Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.7%
female: 98.6% (2005 est.)
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2006)
7.6% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 17
Government ::Moldova
conventional long form: Republic of Moldova
conventional short form: Moldova
local long form: Republica Moldova
local short form: Moldova
former: Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic
name: Chisinau (Kishinev)
note: pronounced KEE-shee-now
geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 28 51 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
32 raions (raioane, singular - raion), 3 municipalities (municipii, singular - municipiu), 1 autonomous territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala autonoma), and 1 territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala)
raions: Anenii Noi, Basarabeasca, Briceni, Cahul, Cantemir, Calarasi, Causeni, Cimislia, Criuleni, Donduseni, Drochia, Dubasari, Edinet, Falesti, Floresti, Glodeni, Hincesti, Ialoveni, Leova, Nisporeni, Ocnita, Orhei, Rezina, Riscani, Singerei, Soldanesti, Soroca, Stefan-Voda, Straseni, Taraclia, Telenesti, Ungheni
municipalities: Balti, Bender, Chisinau
autonomous territorial unit: Gagauzia
territorial unit: Stinga Nistrului (Transnistria)
27 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
Independence Day, 27 August (1991)
adopted 29 July 1994; effective 27 August 1994; note - replaced 1979 Soviet constitution
based on civil law system; Constitutional Court reviews legality of legislative acts and governmental decisions of resolution; accepts many UN and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) documents; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: Acting President Mihai GHIMPU (since 11 September 2009)
note: Vladimir VORONIN, president since 4 April 2001, resigned on 11 September 2009; Mihai GHIMPU, the Speaker of Parliament, is serving as acting president until new elections can be held, possibly in 2010; the parliament twice failed to elect a president in 2009 and must wait until at least late 2010 to dissolve itself and hold new presidential elections, given that the constitution forbids parliament from being dissolved more than twice in a 12-month period
head of government: Prime Minister Vladimir FILAT (since 25 September 2009); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Iurie LEANCA (since 25 September 2009), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Valeriu LAZAR (since 25 September 2009), Deputy Prime Minister Ion NEGREI (since 25 September 2009) and Deputy Prime Minister Victor OSIPOV (since 25 September 2009)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by president, subject to approval of Parliament
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elections: president elected by Parliament for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); last successful election held on 4 April 2005, most recent (failed) election held on 10 December 2009); note - prime minister designated by the president upon consultation with Parliament; within 15 days from designation, the prime minister-designate must request a vote of confidence from the Parliament regarding his/her work program and entire cabinet; prime minister designated on 17 September 2009; cabinet received a vote of confidence on 25 September 2009
election results: Vladimir VORONIN reelected president (2005); parliamentary votes - Vladimir VORONIN 75, Gheorghe DUCA 1; Vladimir FILAT designated prime minister; parliamentary votes of confidence - 53 of 101
unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; members elected on an at-large basis by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 29 July 2009 (next to be held, possibly in 2010); note - this was the second parliamentary election in less than four months; the earlier parliament (elected 5 April 2009) could not agree on a presidential candidate; the current parliament also failed to elect a president, but because of a constitutional provision that says the parliament cannot be dissolved more than once in a 12-month period, new elections will not be held at least until summer 2010
election results: percent of vote by party - PCRM 44.7%, PLDM 16.6%, PL 14.7%, PD 12.5%, AMN 7.4%; seats by party - PCRM 48, PLDM 18, PL 15, PD 13, AMN 7; note - counting defections that occurred in December 2009 and January 2010, the PCRM now holds 44 seats and the AMN holds 5; the 4 PCRM and 2 AMN defectors still sit in parliament, but are not allowed to establish factions; factions must be established during the first two weeks of Parliament's plenary sessions
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional judicature)
represented in Parliament: Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova or PCRM [Vladimir VORONIN]; Democratic Party or PD [Mihai LUPU]; Liberal Democratic Party or PLDM [Vladmir FILAT]; Liberal Party or PL [Mihai GHIMPU]; Our Moldova Alliance or AMN [Serafim URECHEAN]
not represented in Parliament: Centrist Union or UCM [Vasile TARLEV]; Christian Democratic People's Party or PPCD [Iurie ROSCA]; National Liberal Party or PNL [Vitalia PAVLICENKO]; Party for Social Democracy or PDSM [Dumitru BRAGHIS]
chief of mission: Ambassador Andrei GALBUR
chancery: 2101 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 667-1130
FAX: [1] (202) 667-1204
chief of mission: Ambassador Asif J. CHAUDHRY
embassy: 103 Mateevici Street, Chisinau MD-2009
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [373] (22) 40-8300
FAX: [373] (22) 23-3044
three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; emblem in center of flag is of a Roman eagle of gold outlined in black with a red beak and talons carrying a yellow cross in its beak and a green olive branch in its right talons and a yellow scepter in its left talons; on its breast is a shield divided horizontally red over blue with a stylized ox head, star, rose, and crescent all in black-outlined yellow; similar color scheme to the flag of Romania - with whom Moldova shares a history and culture - but Moldova's blue band is lighter; the reverse of the flag does not display any coat of arms
note: one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Paraguay and Saudi Arabia
Economy ::Moldova
Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe despite recent progress from its small economic base. It 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 almost all of its energy supplies. Moldova's dependence on Russian energy was underscored at the end of 2005, when a Russian-owned electrical station in Moldova's separatist Transnistria region cut off power to Moldova and Russia's Gazprom cut off natural gas in disputes over pricing. In January 2009, gas supplies were cut during a dispute between Russia and Ukraine. Russia's decision to ban Moldovan wine and agricultural products, coupled with its decision to double the price Moldova paid for Russian natural gas, slowed GDP growth in 2006-07. However, in 2008 growth exceeded 7%, boosted by Russia's partial removal of the bans, solid fixed capital investment, and strong domestic demand driven by remittances from abroad. The country reversed course again in 2009, due to the onset of the global financial crisis and poor economic conditions in Moldova's main foreign markets, which dramatically decreased remittances. GDP fell about 8% in 2009. Unemployment almost doubled and inflation disappeared - at 0%, a record low. Moldova's IMF agreement expired in May 2009. In fall 2009, the IMF allocated $186 million to Moldova to cover its immediate budgetary needs, and the government signed an new agreement with the IMF in January 2010 for a program worth $574 million. Economic reforms have been slow because of corruption and strong political forces backing government controls. Nevertheless, the government's primary goal of EU integration has resulted in some market-oriented progress. The granting of EU trade preferences and increased exports to Russia will encourage higher growth rates, but the agreements are unlikely to serve as a panacea, given the extent to which export success depends on higher quality standards and other factors. The economy is making a modest recovery in 2010 but remains vulnerable to political uncertainty, weak administrative capacity, vested bureaucratic interests, higher fuel prices, poor agricultural weather, and the skepticism of foreign investors as well as the presence of an illegal separatist regime in Moldova's Transnistria region.
$9.956 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
$10.79 billion (2008 est.)
$10.06 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
$5.403 billion (2009 est.)
-7.7% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
7.2% (2008 est.)
3% (2007 est.)
$2,300 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 179
$2,500 (2008 est.)
$2,300 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
agriculture: 16%
industry: 19.9%
services: 64.1% (2009 est.)
1.283 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
agriculture: 40.6%
industry: 16%
services: 43.3% (2005 est.)
3.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
1.4% (2008 est.)
29.5% (2005)
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 28.2% (2004)
33.2 (2003)
country comparison to the world: 95
40.6 (1997)
22.5% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
revenues: $2.092 billion
expenditures: $2.461 billion (2009 est.)
25.5% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
18.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
-0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
12.8% (2008 est.)
21.06% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 22
18.83% (31 December 2007)
$1.116 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 109
$965 million (31 December 2007)
$1.928 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 101
$1.449 billion (31 December 2007)
$2.406 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 96
$1.896 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (2004)
country comparison to the world: 104
$573.9 million (2004)
vegetables, fruits, grapes, grain, sugar beets,sunflower seed, tobacco; beef, milk; wine
sugar, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles
-19.4% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
3.617 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
4.37 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
240 million kWh (2007 est.)
2.931 billion kWh (2007 est.)
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
19,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
36 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
14,230 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158
50 million cu m (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82
2.52 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
2.52 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
-$439.3 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
-$987.4 million (2008 est.)
$1.329 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
$1.646 billion (2008 est.)
foodstuffs, textiles, machinery
Russia 23.77%, Italy 14.11%, Romania 12.74%, Germany 6.92%, Turkey 6.08%, Belarus 5.38% (2009)
$3.273 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
$4.866 billion (2008 est.)
mineral products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles
Ukraine 19.9%, Romania 15.1%, Russia 14.52%, Germany 8.69%, Italy 5.7%, Belarus 4.38% (2009)
$1.48 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
$1.672 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$3.97 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110
$4.125 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$NA (31 December 2009)
$1.813 billion (2008)
Moldovan lei (MDL) per US dollar - 11.105 (2009), 10.326 (2008), 12.177 (2007), 13.131 (2006), 12.6 (2005)
Communications ::Moldova
1.115 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 73
2.423 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 117
general assessment: inadequate, outmoded, poor service outside Chisinau; some modernization is under way
domestic: depending on location, new subscribers may face long wait for service; multiple private operators of GSM mobile-cellular telephone service are operating; GPRS system is being introduced; a CDMA mobile telephone network began operations in 2007; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity 85 per 100 persons
international: country code - 373; service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - at least 3 (Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik) (2008)
state-owned national radio-TV broadcaster operates 2 television and 2 radio stations; a total of nearly 40 terrestrial TV channels and some 50 radio stations are in operation; Russian and Romanian channels also are available (2007)
492,181 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 50
850,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 96
Transportation ::Moldova
11 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 154
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2010)
total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
under 914 m: 3 (2010)
gas 1,906 km (2009)
total: 1,138 km
country comparison to the world: 88
broad gauge: 1,124 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 14 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)
total: 9,343 km
country comparison to the world: 136
paved: 8,810 km
unpaved: 533 km (2008)
424 km (on Dniester and Prut rivers) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 87
total: 39
country comparison to the world: 78
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 32, chemical tanker 2, combination ore/oil 2, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 17 (Egypt 1, Romania 3, Russia 3, Syria 1, Turkey 3, Ukraine 5, Yemen 1) (2008)
Military ::Moldova
National Army: Joint Operations Command (includes land forces, air and air defense, and special forces units), Logistics Command (2010)
18 years of age for compulsory military service; 17 years of age for voluntary service; male registration required at age 16; 12-month service obligation (2009)
males age 16-49: 1,150,585
females age 16-49: 1,168,169 (2010 est.)
males age 16-49: 877,031
females age 16-49: 979,128 (2010 est.)
male: 30,012
female: 28,450 (2010 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 168
Transnational Issues ::Moldova
Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor the transit of people and commodities through Moldova's break-away Transnistria region, which remains under OSCE supervision
current situation: Moldova is a major source and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; Moldovan women are trafficked to the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe; girls and young women are trafficked within the country from rural areas to Chisinau; children are also trafficked to neighboring countries for forced labor and begging; labor trafficking of men to work in the construction, agriculture, and service sectors of Russia is increasingly a problem; according to an ILO report, Moldova's national Bureau of Statistics estimated that there were likely over 25,000 Moldovan victims of trafficking for forced labor in 2008
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - The Government of Moldova does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; despite initial efforts to combat trafficking-related complicity since the government's reassessment on the Tier 2 Watch List in September 2008, and increased victim assistance, the government did not demonstrate sufficiently meaningful efforts to curb trafficking-related corruption, which is a government-acknowledged problem in Moldova; the government improved victim protection efforts, deployed more law-enforcement officers in the effort and contributed direct financial assistance toward victim protection and assistance for the first time (2009)
limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia via Central Asia to Russia, Western Europe, and possibly the US; widespread crime and underground economic activity