Moldova [Country Flag of Moldova]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Moldova]



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Location: Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania

Geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 29 00 E

Map references: Commonwealth of Independent States

total: 33,700 sq km
land: 33,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Hawaii

Land boundaries:
total: 1,389 km
border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 939 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: moderate winters, warm summers

Terrain: rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Nistru River 2 m
highest point: Mount Balaneshty 430 m

Natural resources: lignite, phosphorites, gypsum

Land use:
arable land: 53%
permanent crops: 14%
permanent pastures: 13%
forests and woodland: 13%
other: 7% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 3,110 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment—current issues: heavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from poor farming methods

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: landlocked


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Population: 4,457,729 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 25% (male 568,609; female 548,837)
15-64 years: 65% (male 1,394,604; female 1,514,749)
65 years and over: 10% (male 159,972; female 270,958) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.04% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 14.35 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 12.42 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 43.72 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.32 years
male: 59.61 years
female: 69.27 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.88 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Moldovan(s)
adjective: Moldovan

Ethnic groups: Moldavian/Romanian 64.5%, Ukrainian 13.8%, Russian 13%, Gagauz 3.5%, Jewish 1.5%, Bulgarian 2%, other 1.7% (1989 figures)
note: internal disputes with ethnic Russians and Ukrainians in the Nistru region and Gagauz Turks in the south

Religions: Eastern Orthodox 98.5%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist (only about 1,000 members) (1991)
note: the large majority of churchgoers are ethnic Moldavian

Languages: 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: 96%
male: 99%
female: 94% (1989 est.)


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Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Moldova
conventional short form: Moldova
local long form: Republica Moldova
local short form: none
former: Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova; Moldavia

Data code: MD

Government type: republic

National capital: Chisinau

Administrative divisions: previously divided into 40 rayons; new districts possible under new constitution of 1994

Independence: 27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 27 August 1991

Constitution: new constitution adopted 28 July 1994; replaces old Soviet constitution of 1979

Legal system: based on civil law system; Constitutional Court reviews legality of legislative acts and governmental decisions of resolution; it is unclear if Moldova accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction but accepts many UN and OSCE documents

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Petru LUCINSCHI (since 15 January 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Ion CIUBUC (since 15 January 1997); First Deputy Prime Minister Ion GUTU (since NA April 1994)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 17 November 1996; runoff election 1 December 1996 (next to be held NA November 2000); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of the majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by Parliament
election results: Petru LUCINSCHI ran against Mircea SNEGUR and was elected president; percent of vote—LUCINSCHI 54%, SNEGUR 46%; Prime Minister Ion CIUBUC was appointed by the president 15 January 1997 and was elected by a parliamentary vote of 75-15 on 24 January 1997

Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (104 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 27 February 1994 (next to be held 22 March 1998)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—PDAM 56, Socialist/Yedinstvo Bloc 28, Peasants and Intellectuals Bloc 11, FPCDM 9; note—seats as of June-July 1995 were as follows: PDAM 45, PSM/UN 28, Peasants and Intellectuals Bloc 11, PRCM 11, FPCDM 9
note: the comparative breakdown of seats by faction is approximate

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Popular Front or FPCDM (formerly Moldovan Popular Front) [Iurie ROSCA, chairman]; Socialist Unity Faction or US of the Socialist Party of Moldova or PSM; Social Democratic Party of Moldova or PSDM [Oazu NANTOI, chairman]; Agrarian Democratic Party of Moldova or PDAM [Dumitru MOTPAN, chairman]; Peasants and Intellectuals Bloc [Lidia ISTRATI, chairwoman]; Liberal Party of Moldova or PLM [Mircea RUSU, chairman]; Socialist Party of Moldova or PSM [Valeriu SENIC and Victor MOREV, cochairmen]; Party of Rivival and Conciliation of Moldova or PRCM [Mircea SNEGUR, chairman]; Moldovan Party of Democratic Forces or PFDM [Valeriu MATEI, chairman]; Party for Social Progress or PPSM [Eugen SOBOR, chairman]; Communist Party or PCM [Vladimir VORONTIN, first chairman]; Civic Unity [Vladimir SOLONARI]; Moldovan National Peasant Party or PNTM [Simeon CERTAN]; Party of People's Social Justice [Maricica LITVITCHI]; Party for a Democratic and Prosperous Moldova or PMDP [Dumitru DIACOV]

Political pressure groups and leaders: The Ecology Movement of Moldova or EMM [Alecu RENITSA, chairman]; The Christian Democratic League of Women of Moldova or CDLWM [Lidia ISTRATI, chairwoman]; National Christian Party of Moldova or NCPM [V. NIKU, leader]; The Peoples Movement Gagauz Khalky or GKh [S. GULGAR, leader]; The Democratic Party of Gagauzia or DPG [G. SAVOSTIN, chairman]; The Alliance of Working People of Moldova or AWPM [G. POLOGOV, president]; Liberal Convention of Moldova (now the Liberal Party); Association of Victims of Repression [Alexander USATIUC]; Christian Democratic Youth Organization [Valeriu BARBA]; National Youth League [Valeriu STRELETS]; Union of Youth of Moldova [Petru GAVTON]

International organization participation: ACCT, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Nicolae TAU
chancery: 2101 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 667-1130
FAX: [1] (202) 667-1204

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John Todd STEWART
embassy: Strada Alexei Mateevicie #103, Chisinau 277014
mailing address: use embassy street address; pouch address—American Embassy Chisinau, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7080
telephone: [373] (2) 23-37-72, RNX 548 (plus extension)
FAX: [373] (2) 23-30-44

Flag description: same color scheme as Romania—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


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Economy—overview: 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 oil, coal, and natural gas, largely from Russia. Energy shortages contributed to sharp production declines after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. The Moldovan Government has recently been making progress on an ambitious economic reform agenda. As part of its reform efforts, Moldova introduced a stable convertible currency, freed all prices, stopped issuing preferential credits to state enterprises and backed steady land privatization, removed export controls, and freed interest rates. The IMF has suspended payment on Moldova's Extended Fund Facility since November 1997, due to concerns about the budget deficit and money supply growth. In late December Parliament agreed to a lower 1998 budget deficit to address IMF and World Bank concerns.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$10.8 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: -2% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$2,400 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 42%
industry: 36%
services: 22% (1995)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 11.2% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 2.42 million (1995)
by occupation: agriculture 46.1%, industry 13.9%, other 40.0% (1996)

Unemployment rate: 1.4% (includes only officially registered unemployed; large numbers of underemployed workers) (March 1997)

revenues: $570 million
expenditures: $641 million, including capital expenditures of $28 million (1997 est.)

Industries: food processing, agricultural machinery, foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, hosiery, sugar, vegetable oil, shoes, textiles

Industrial production growth rate: -2% (1997 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 2.906 million kW (1997)

Electricity—production: 1.5 billion kWh (1997)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 324 kWh (1996 est.)

Agriculture—products: vegetables, fruits, wine, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco; meat, milk

total value: $816 million (1997)
commodities: foodstuffs, wine, tobacco, textiles and footwear, machinery
partners: Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, Germany

total value: $1.16 billion (1997)
commodities: oil, gas, coal, steel, machinery, foodstuffs, automobiles, and other consumer durables
partners: Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Romania, Germany

Debt—external: more than $1 billion (1997)

Economic aid:
recipient: IMF and World Bank, $512 million (1992-97)

Currency: the Moldovan leu (MLD) (plural lei) was introduced in late 1993

Exchange rates: lei (MLD) per US$1 (end of period)—4.6870 (January 1997), 4.6628 (1997), 4.6743 (1996), 4.4990 (1995), 4.2700 (1994), 3.6400 (1993), 0.4145 (1992); period average—4.6758 (January 1998), 81.6637 (1997), 4.6045 (1996), 4.4958 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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Telephones: 600,000 (1996 est.)

Telephone system: telecommunication system not well developed; 215,000 unsatisfied requests for telephone service (1991 est.); since 1997, Chisinau has been considering privatizing its state-owned telephone company
domestic: NA
international: international connections to other former Soviet republics by landline and microwave radio relay through Ukraine and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; satellite earth stations - 1 Eutelsat and 1 Intelsat; first fiber optic cable installed between Moldova and Romania

Radio broadcast stations: AM 9, FM 5, shortwave NA (1994)

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 2 (one national and one private) (1995)

Televisions: NA


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total: 1,328 km
broad gauge: 1,328 km 1.520-m gauge (1992)

total: 12,300 km
paved: 10,738 km
unpaved: 1,562 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 424 km (1994)

Pipelines: natural gas 310 km (1992)

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: 26 (1994 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 8
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
under 914 m: 3 (1994 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 8 (1994 est.)


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Military branches: Ground Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Republic Security Forces (internal and border troops)

Military manpower—military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 1,145,260 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 902,238 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 38,082 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: 203 million lei (1995); note—conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: certain territory of Moldova and Ukraine—including Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina—are considered by Bucharest as historically a part of Romania; this territory was incorporated into the former Soviet Union following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1940

Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transshipment point for illicit drugs to Western Europe and Russia