MOLDOVA

Date of establishment: August 27, 1991

Brief history:

7th-13th centuries: Settlement and formation of early Slavic tribes and various other ethnic groups, including Dacians, Romans, Cumans, and Tatars, in the territory of present-day Moldova.

14th-15th centuries: Emergence of the independent principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. Moldavia reached its zenith under rulers like Stephen III (Stephen the Great), Petru Rareș, and Alexandru Lăpușneanu.

16th-18th centuries: Moldavia and Wallachia experienced periods of autonomy and conflict against the Ottoman Empire, as well as periods of Ottoman domination.

1812: Russia annexes the eastern part of Moldavia (Bessarabia) after the Russo-Turkish War.

1859: Unification of Moldavia and Wallachia under Alexander John Cuza, leading to the creation of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.

1917: Romania regains control of Bessarabia following the collapse of the Russian Empire.

1940: Soviet Union annexes northern Bessarabia as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

1991: Moldova declares independence from the Soviet Union.

1992: War breaks out in Transnistria between Moldova and the breakaway region of Transnistria.

 

International abbreviation: MD

 

Currency: Moldovan leu (MDL)

One leu is divided into 100 bani. There are banknotes with denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 100 lei.

Besides the Moldovan leu, other currencies such as the euro are sometimes used, especially in tourist areas.

 

Internet domain: .md

 

Dialing code: +373

 

Time zone: +2 GMT

 

Geography:

Moldova is located between Ukraine to the east and Romania to the west. Its territory is mainly in the eastern part of the historical region of Moldavia.

The landscape is mostly lowland, with several mountain ranges in the western part. The Dniester River valley forms a natural border with Ukraine in the east.

 

Highest peak: Bălănești Hill 430 m (1 411 feet) above sea level

The mountain is in the western part of Moldova, in the border district of Ungheni. It is one of the peaks of the Cornesti Mountains.

Moldova is primarily a lowland country, and therefore its highest peak is significantly lower compared to mountains in other parts of the world.

 

Climate:

Moldova has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Summers are typically hot and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 25 to 35°C (77 to 95°F). Rainfall is relatively low during this time, contributing to dry conditions. Autumn brings cooler temperatures and increased humidity, with occasional rainfall.

Winters are cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing, especially at night. Snowfall is common during the winter months, particularly in December and January. Spring marks the transition to warmer weather, with temperatures gradually rising and an increase in rainfall, which contributes to the growth of vegetation and agriculture.

Overall, Moldova experiences distinct seasons characterized by varying temperatures and precipitation levels throughout the year.

 

Flora and fauna:

The flora of Moldova includes various types of vegetation adapted to its diverse landscapes. Deciduous forests, primarily consisting of oak, beech, hornbeam, and ash trees, are prevalent across the country. Grassy steppes and meadows are characteristic of Moldova’s central and eastern regions, hosting a variety of grasses, flowers, and herbs such as dandelions, primroses, sedges, and reeds.

In terms of fauna, Moldova is home to several interesting animal species. Mammals include deer, wild boars, foxes, hedgehogs, hares, and various rodents and insectivores. Avian species found in Moldova’s forests, steppes, and meadows include crows, larks, tits, and various migratory birds. Additionally, reptiles such as lizards and amphibians such as toads and frogs are present in Moldova.

 

Agriculture:

The main agricultural crops in Moldova are wine, fruits, vegetables, and cereals. Moldova has a long tradition of winemaking and is one of the leading wine exporters in Eastern Europe. Extensive vineyards are found in various parts of the country, cultivating different grape varieties that form the basis for high-quality wines.

Another significant crop is fruits and vegetables. Moldova produces various types of fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches, apricots, and plums. Vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and potatoes are also grown.

Livestock farming, including cattle, pigs, and poultry, is another significant aspect of Moldova’s agricultural sector.

 

Raw materials extraction:

Moldova is not rich in natural resources, and its mining industry is limited. The country lacks significant oil, natural gas, or precious metal deposits. Moldova does not have large coal mines either.

The only notable resource mined in Moldova is salt. There is a salt mine in the Călărasi area, near the Dniester River, where rock salt is extracted.

 

Industry:

One of the key sectors of industry in Moldova is the food industry. Thanks to its rich agricultural resources, Moldova specializes in wine, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meat production. Moldovan wines are known for their quality, and the country is famous for its vineyards and long winemaking tradition.

The textiles industry is another significant sector in Moldova. The country has textiles factories producing clothes, fabrics, and other textile products for both the domestic market and export.

Other sectors in Moldova include the processing industry, encompassing agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing, as well as the energy industry, which includes electricity generation from conventional and renewable sources.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: services

 

Natural and historical attractions: the cities of Chisinau and Saharna, the Cricova Wine Cellars, Emil Racovita Cave in the Emil Racovita Nature Reserve, Codru Nature Reserve, Orheiul Vechi archaeological complex, Manastirea Curchi monastery, and the village of Tipova

Tourism in Moldova may be relatively small, but the country offers several interesting and attractive places for visitors to explore. The main tourist attraction is its vineyards and wine regions, with opportunities for vineyard and wine cellar tours. The Codru region is a notable center for wine tourism, offering numerous vineyards and wine cellars to visit.

Other attractions include the scenic landscapes around the village of Saharna, the historical and cultural complex of Orheiul Vechi, the natural beauty of the Codru Nature Reserve, and the architectural splendor of Manastirea Curchi monastery.

In addition, cities like Balti and the capital city Chisinau offer various cultural and historical landmarks, parks, and architectural gems for visitors to discover and enjoy.

 

 

System of government: Parliamentary Republic

Moldova is a parliamentary republic with a democratic system of government based on the principle of separation of powers. The state system includes three main branches, each with its specific powers and responsibilities.

Executive power in the country is held by the president, who serves as the head of state and head of government. The president is directly elected by the citizens for a five-year term and exercises significant executive powers, including appointing the prime minister, leading foreign policy, and representing the country internationally. The prime minister and the government share executive powers with the president and are responsible for governing the country, implementing policies, and fulfilling government programs.

Legislative power is vested in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, a unicameral body consisting of 101 members. MPs are elected by citizens for a four-year term through general elections. Parliament has the authority to pass laws, approve the state budget, exercise oversight over the government, and perform other legislative tasks.

Judicial power in Moldova is independent and separate from the executive and legislative branches. The supreme court is the highest judicial authority tasked with overseeing the correctness of the judicial process and ensuring the rule of law. The country also has lower courts responsible for adjudicating civil, criminal, and administrative cases at the local and regional levels, as well as a Constitutional Court, which interprets the constitution and resolves disputes related to constitutional matters.

Moldova is a democratic republic that upholds the fundamental principles of the rule of law and respects human rights, although the country has faced challenges related to democratic governance in recent years.

 

Capital city: Chisinau

Chisinau, the capital and largest city of Moldova, is located in the central part of the country. Its origins trace back to the 15th century, although its development into a significant urban center occurred over several centuries. Today, Chisinau is a vibrant and modern city with a rich historical and cultural heritage.

The city boasts diverse architecture, including neoclassical, Soviet-era, and contemporary designs. Historical landmarks such as the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, the Triumphal Arch, the National Opera and Ballet Theater, and the Presidential Palace reflect Chisinau’s storied past and architectural diversity.

Chisinau is also renowned for its abundance of green spaces, including parks, gardens, and tree-lined boulevards, which contribute to its pleasant atmosphere. The city is home to numerous museums, galleries, and cultural events, offering residents and visitors alike opportunities for enrichment and enjoyment.

 

Area: 33 483 km2 (12 928 square miles)

 

Population: 2 539 000 (2022 estimate)

The ethnic composition of Moldova’s population is diverse. The predominant ethnic group is Moldovans, who constitute the majority of the population. Moldovans are ethnically Romanian and share a common cultural and linguistic heritage with Romania. The official language of Moldova is Romanian, which is spoken by the majority of the population.

In addition to Moldovans, the population of Moldova includes various minority ethnic groups, such as Ukrainians, Russians, Gagauz, Bulgarians, and others. Ukrainians and Russians are the most significant minority groups and live mainly in the northern and eastern parts of the country. The Gagauz people, who have their autonomous region within Moldova, are another notable minority group in the country.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 1

 

Struve Geodetic Arc – This site is a joint project of 10 European countries, including Moldova, that served to measure the size and shape of the Earth in the 19th century. The Struve Arc includes 34 points across the territories of these countries and represents a significant achievement in the field of geodesy and cartography. In Moldova, one of these points is located in the capital city, Chisinau.

 

National parks: 1

 

Orhei National Park