The Moldova Portal

Location of Moldova
LocationEastern Europe

Moldova (/mɒlˈdvə/ mol-DOH-və, sometimes UK: /ˈmɒldəvə/ MOL-də-və; Romanian pronunciation: [molˈdova]), officially the Republic of Moldova (Romanian: Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, on the northeastern corner of the Balkans. The country spans a total of 33,483 km2 (13,067 sq mi) and has a population of approximately 2.5 million as of January 2023. Moldova is bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The unrecognised breakaway state of Transnistria lies across the Dniester river on the country's eastern border with Ukraine. Moldova is a unitary parliamentary representative democratic republic with its capital in Chișinău, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre.

Most of Moldovan territory was a part of the Principality of Moldavia from the 14th century until 1812, when it was ceded to the Russian Empire by the Ottoman Empire (to which Moldavia was a vassal state) and became known as Bessarabia. In 1856, southern Bessarabia was returned to Moldavia, which three years later united with Wallachia to form Romania, but Russian rule was restored over the whole of the region in 1878. During the 1917 Russian Revolution, Bessarabia briefly became an autonomous state within the Russian Republic. In February 1918, it declared independence and then integrated into Romania later that year following a vote of its assembly. The decision was disputed by Soviet Russia, which in 1924 established, within the Ukrainian SSR, a so-called Moldavian autonomous republic on partially Moldovan-inhabited territories to the east of Bessarabia. In 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, leading to the creation of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavian SSR).

On 27 August 1991, as the dissolution of the Soviet Union was underway, the Moldavian SSR declared independence and took the name Moldova. However, the strip of Moldovan territory on the east bank of the Dniester has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990. The constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994, and the country became a parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. Under the presidency of Maia Sandu, elected in 2020 on a pro-Western and anti-corruption ticket, Moldova has pursued membership of the European Union, and was granted candidate status in June 2022. Accession talks to the EU began on 13 December 2023. Sandu has also suggested an end to Moldova's constitutional commitment to military neutrality in favour of a closer alliance with NATO and strongly condemned Russia's invasion of neighbouring Ukraine. (Full article...)

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Modern Moldova-Romania relations emerged after the Republic of Moldova gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Pan-Romanianism has been a consistent part of Moldovan politics, and was adopted in the Popular Front of Moldova's platform in 1992. The official language of Moldova is Romanian. The peoples of the two countries share common traditions and folklore, including a common name for the monetary unit – the leu (Moldovan leu and Romanian leu). At present, relations between the two states are exceptionally friendly, especially on account of the pro-Romanian administration of Maia Sandu in Moldova.

Following the collapse of the Russian Empire, most of the territory of modern Moldova became part of Romania. This lasted throughout the interwar period, after which the region was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union. Early signs that Romania and Moldova might unite after the latter achieved emancipation from Soviet rule quickly faded after the Transnistria War. However, a growing unionist sentiment emerged especially in the second decade of the 21st century, even as successive Moldovan governments continuously oscillated between pro-Russian (and by default anti-Romanian) and pro-Western positions. Romania has remained interested in Moldovan affairs and backed its progress towards European integration, while Moldova under Maia Sandu's presidency has been exceptionally close with Romania.

Romania is a European Union member and Moldova is a European Union candidate. (Full article...)
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Did you know...

... that The "Golden Collection" from the State Enterprise Quality Wines Industrial Complex "Mileştii Mici" was recognized by the Guinness World Records as "the biggest wine collection in the world" on the 19th of August 2005. It contains over 1,5 million bottles of different types of wine – dry wines, dessert and sparkling wines.

...that according to the legend, voivode Dragoş founded Moldova as the result of an aurochs hunt. This is the popular explanation of aurochs head depicted on the coat of arms of Moldova.

...that only five of twelve stanzas of the original poem by Alexei Mateevici are included in the national anthem of Moldova.

...that Moldavian SSR had population density 128.2 people/km² and was the most densely populated republic of the Soviet Union.

...that Christian Orthodox is the predominant religion in Moldova. 98% of believers belong to the Orthodox Church, and its traditions are tightly entwined with the culture and patrimony of the country.

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Largest cities

Largest cities in Moldova
Source: Moldovan Census (2004); Note: 1. World Gazetteer. Moldova: largest cities 2004. 2. Pridnestrovie.net 2004 Census 2004. 3. National Bureau of Statistics of Moldova
Rank Pop. Rank Pop.
1 Chișinău 644,204 11 Comrat 20,113 Bălți
2 Tiraspol 129,500 12 Strășeni 18,376
3 Bălți 102,457 13 Durlești 17,210
4 Bender 91,000 14 Ceadîr-Lunga 16,605
5 Rîbnița 46,000 15 Căușeni 15,939
6 Ungheni 30,804 16 Codru 15,934
7 Cahul 30,018 17 Edineț 15,520
8 Soroca 22,196 18 Drochia 13,150
9 Orhei 21,065 19 Ialoveni 12,515
10 Dubăsari 25,700 20 Hîncești 12,491

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  1. ^ "Largest wine cellar by number of bottles". Guinness World Records. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
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