Republic of Moldova

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Republica Moldova
Republic of Moldova (DE / AT)
Republic of Moldova (CH)
Flag of the Republic of Moldova
Moldova Coat of Arms
flag coat of arms
Official language Romanian
regionally also Gagauz , Russian and Ukrainian
Capital Chișinău
Form of government Parliamentary Republic
Government system Parliamentary democracy
Head of state President
Igor Dodon
Head of government Prime Minister
Ion Chicu
surface 33,843 1 ( 135th ) km²
population 3,550,852 ( 116th ) (January 1, 2017)
Population density 98 ( 56th ) inhabitants per km²
Population development   −1.04% (2016)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh.
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 8,085 million ( 144. )
  • $ 20,077 million ( 143. )
  • 2,280 USD ( 137. )
  • 5,661 USD ( 136. )
Human Development Index   0.699 ( 107th ) (2016)
currency Moldovan Leu (MDL)
independence August 27, 1991
(from the Soviet Union )
National anthem Limba Noastra
Time zone UTC + 2 EET
UTC + 3 EESZ (March to October)
License Plate MD
ISO 3166 MD , MDA, 498
Internet TLD .md
Telephone code +373
1 (including Transnistria )
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The Republic of Moldova or Republic of Moldova (somewhat less often in the short form Moldau or Moldau , officially in Romanian : Republica Moldova ), generally also Moldova , is a landlocked country in Southeastern Europe . In the west it borders on the EU state Romania . In the north, east and south the Republic of Moldova is completely enclosed by the Ukraine , so that there is no direct access to the Black Sea, which is only two kilometers away in places .

Historically, the territory has belonged to this state since the founding of the Principality of Moldova , from 1812 to the Russian Empire , after the First World War largely to Romania, after the Second World War to the Soviet Union . The Republic of Moldova has only existed as an independent state since 1991, when the Moldovan SSR declared itself independent during the dissolution of the Soviet Union . Since then, the country's political development has been significantly hampered by the Transnistrian conflict .

Country name

The country is often unofficially called " Moldova ", which is the translation of the Russian name Молдавия Moldawija or the Latin name Moldavia . The official name of the republic in Germany and Austria is the Republic of Moldova , in Switzerland it is called the Republic of Moldova .


The Republic of Moldova extends over 350 kilometers from north to south and 150 kilometers from west to east. With its total area of ​​33,843 square kilometers, the country is rather small and is in the lower third of the global comparison . The core area lies mostly between the two largest rivers Dniester (Moldovan / Romanian Nistru ) and Prut ( Prut ) and thus in the historical landscape of Bessarabia . The north borders on the Podolian Plate of western Ukraine .

A smaller part of the country (around 17% of the population on 12% of the area) lies east of the Dniester and split off as Transnistria in 1992 in the course of the Transnistrian conflict . The southernmost point of the Republic of Moldova is Giurgiulești , where the country has an approximately 600 meter long access to the Danube . The name of the Republic of Moldova is derived from the river Moldau / Moldova (not to be confused with the Moldau in the Czech Republic ), although the current national territory is no longer touched by this river.

Rivers and landscape

The Prut flows into the Danube near the southern border of the Republic of Moldova . The larger tributaries ( Bîc , Răut and Botna ) run largely parallel and drain to the Dniester .

The landscape is undulating (30 to 429 meters above sea level) and 80% cultivated land, which is due to the fertile black earth in the steppe of the south. In the north there are hilly plains with light oak forests and tree steppes. The highest point in the Republic of Moldova is the Dealul Bălăneşti . The warm, dry climate enables viticulture and fruit growing on a large scale.

Local animals are, for example, deer , wild boar , rabbit , fox , wolf , weasel , polecat and lynx , as well as rodents . The central part of the country, known colloquially as Codrii ("the forests"), is predominantly covered with oak and beech forests.



Population pyramid of the Republic of Moldova 2016
Development of the population
Ethnic groups
The independent principality of Moldova
The partitions of Moldova

The official census of 2004 counted 3,938,679 inhabitants, including Transnistria, which corresponds to a population density of 116 inhabitants per km². Without Transnistria, the population was just under 3.4 million people. 70% of the population lives in cities (apart from the capital Chișinău, mainly in Bălți , Tiraspol and Bender ). According to the official census, the population of the Republic of Moldova fell to only around 2.9 million by 2014.

The National Statistics Office of the Republic of Moldova announced in July 2019 that the number of resident population in the Republic of Moldova on January 1, 2019 was 2,681,700 people.

The population of the Republic of Moldova is of different ethnic origins : the largest group are the Romanian- speaking Moldovans with 82.1%, followed by Ukrainians (6.6%), Gagauz (4.6%), Russians (4.1%), Bulgarians (1.9%), Jews (0.05%) and some Germans, Poles, Belarusians, Tatars , Hungarians, etc.

In the entire Republic of Moldova as well as east and west of the Dniester, the three large ethnic groups of Moldovans, Ukrainians and Russians together make up over 91% of the population. Viewed separately, however, the distribution is different: while in Transnistria of 555,347 inhabitants 31.9% are Moldovans (compared to 40.1% in Soviet times in 1989), but 30.3% are Russians and 28.9% are Ukrainians, in the rest of the Republic of Moldova the Romanian Moldovans made up 82.1% (6.6% Ukrainians and 4.1% Russians) of the 2,998,235 inhabitants.

In 2017, 3.5% of the population was born abroad . The most common countries of origin were the Ukraine and Russia, each with 60,000 people.


Life expectancy in 2016 was 70.7 years. The rate of HIV infection in the adult population is 0.6%. In 2014, there were about 2.5 doctors per 1000 people in the Republic of Moldova. In 2006, health expenditure was US $ 107 (purchasing power parity) per capita.


The official language is Romanian . As an expression of linguistic separatism , the government had in the meantime implemented the designation “ Moldovan language ” in the constitution in 1994 . This designation had already been used in the time of the Moldavian SSR, which, however, had no official language. Since 2013, the term "Moldovan language" is no longer used officially.

The everyday language in Chișinău and the centers of the Rajons corresponds to the Moldovan-colored (Moldoveanu) variant of Romanian. There are some neologisms borrowed from Russian , in the place of which English or French borrowings are used in the more western-oriented Romanian neighboring country.

In the Republic of Moldova, the official holiday Limba Noastră cea Română is celebrated annually , which commemorates August 31, 1989, when Romanian became the official language of the Moldovan SSR .

From 1940/44 the Cyrillic alphabet was (re-) used in the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic . With the collapse of the Soviet Union from 1989 and independence in 1991, it was finally decided to introduce the Latin script (see Background on the Moldovan language ). In the Transnistria region, which has broken away from the Republic of Moldova, Moldavian is still officially written in Cyrillic.

Due to its long membership in the Russian Empire and later in the Soviet Union, the Russian language has a special role. Russian is particularly present in everyday life in the larger cities and in business. However, it only has an official status as an official language in the regions of Gagauzia (next to Gagauz ) and (next to Ukrainian ) in Transnistria . According to a study from 2011, 99% of the population speak Russian, and 16% of the population speak it as their mother tongue. There are Russian-speaking majorities in several larger cities, particularly in Bălți , where Russian is also used de facto at the official level.


The Republic of Moldova is a Christian country. Over 90% of the population belong to the various Orthodox churches ( Moldovan Orthodox Church , Russian Orthodox Church , Orthodox Church of Bessarabia , Ukrainian Orthodox ). There are also Catholic and Jewish minorities, and increasingly Baptists and Jehovah's Witnesses . Among the Muslims in the Republic of Moldova (around 3,000), the minorities of the Nogai , Tatars and Turks are particularly represented.

The Republic of Moldova has a rich religious history, the 500-year-old church architecture is also an important factor for tourism. During the period of membership in the USSR, Christian customs were preserved alongside traditional customs and traditions, including family customs and festivals. In the countryside, beliefs and traditions are much more original than in the capital Chișinău, for example, which is already urban.

In the years after perestroika and since independence, many old churches, convents, rock monasteries, cathedrals and small village churches have been rebuilt or newly founded in the Republic of Moldova. But spiritual and ecclesiastical life does not go smoothly. Historically, many non-resident religions were active on Moldovan territory and there were disputes between the Bessarabian eparchy and the Moscow Patriarchate , which have not been resolved to this day. In 2001 the European Court of Human Rights upheld a lawsuit brought by the Bessarabian eparchy against the Republic of Moldova for restricting religious freedom .

The number of Russian Orthodox churches skyrocketed from 280 to over 1,000 in the first twelve years of independence. The Catholic diocese of Chișinău comprises (as of 2011) 17 parishes with around 20,000 Catholics, most of whom are of Polish, Romanian and German descent. Bishop of the diocese formed in 2001 is Anton Koca.

Today there are around 25,000 Jews in the Republic of Moldova. Other estimates even assume that there are only 1,000 practicing Jews . After Moldova's independence, many Jews emigrated to Israel and the United States . Before the Second World War , there was a significant Jewish population in what was then the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic . Today's capital Chișinău was also a center of Jewish life in the Russian Empire as early as 1900 . According to a census from 1897, Jews formed the largest population group in the city with a share of 45.9%. However, there was also anti-Semitism in the Republic of Moldova and pogroms broke out . During the German and Romanian occupation from 1941 to 1944, large parts of the Jewish population finally fell victim to the Holocaust .


The area of ​​today's Republic of Moldova was inhabited by different peoples in ancient times. In the 2nd century, Roman settlers from Dacia to the west were added and a Dako-Roman, later Romanian, culture developed. The region was under Hungarian sovereignty until Prince Bogdan founded an independent principality of Moldova in 1349 . The most important ruler in the 15th century was Ștefan cel Mare , who fought in numerous battles against invasions of the Ottoman Empire , Poland and the Tatars. In 1512 the principality had to submit to the Ottomans and remained a vassal state for the next 300 years .

After the Russo-Turkish War 1787–1792 , the Ottoman Empire had to cede all possessions east of the Dniester to Russia. An enlarged Bessarabia was integrated into the Russian Empire after the Russo-Turkish War from 1806 to 1812 . The area was organized as the Bessarabia Governorate . After Russia's defeat in the Crimean War from 1853 to 1856, the Principality of Moldova was placed under the collective guarantee of the seven signatory states, including the Ottoman Empire, France , Great Britain and Sardinia and Russia , in the Treaty of Paris and Wallachia . With the unification of the Danube Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia in 1859, the area came under increased Romanian influence. After the Berlin Congress in 1878, the Romanian government had to surrender southern Bessarabia back to Russia.

After the October Revolution in Russia in 1917, a Moldovan-Bessarabian regional council, the Sfatul Țării, was constituted on December 21 . On December 2, 1917, he proclaimed the Moldovan Democratic Republic , initially as a part of a new, federally organized Russia. In January 1918 Romanian troops occupied the area west of the Dniester. Rumcherod's resistance to the occupation was suppressed and, under pressure from the occupation, Parliament declared independence from Russia and Ukraine. On March 27, 1918, a majority in parliament voted for unification with Romania, thereby subsequently legalizing the fact that Bessarabia had already been incorporated into the Romanian state. In contrast to the states of the League of Nations , the Bolsheviks did not recognize the legality of this vote and the annexation. Even the Soviet Union , founded in 1922, did not recognize the cession of Bessarabia. In the predominantly Romanian-speaking areas of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic east of the Dniester, a Moldovan Autonomous Oblast was formed in 1924 , which seven months later became the Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic . The official capital was Chișinău - due to the "Romanian occupation", however, Balta (now Ukraine), after 1929 Tiraspol, was designated the seat of government.

From 1929 women were allowed to take part in local elections, but women's suffrage was made dependent on their level of education, social status and special merits towards society. The 1938 Constitution put men and women on an equal footing in terms of voting rights, and the 1939 Electoral Act stipulated that women and men who could read and write were allowed to vote at the age of 30.

The area of ​​Bessarabia belonging to Romania , together with northern Bukovina , was occupied by the Red Army and annexed by the Soviet Union in June 1940 with German approval as a consequence of the secret additional protocol of the Hitler-Stalin Pact . On August 2, 1940, the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic (MSSR) with Chișinău (Russian Kishinev) as the capital was established by uniting Bessarabia with the western part of the Moldovan ASSR. The German population in Bessarabia , whose ancestors Tsar Alexander I had called in 1813 as settlers into the country, was organized by the People's Mittelstelle almost completely " Home to the Reich resettled". Universal suffrage for women and men was introduced.

After June 22, 1941, German and Romanian troops occupied the Moldavian SSR as part of Operation Barbarossa . This enabled Romania to recapture Bessarabia and northern Bukovina in the summer of 1941. The country between the rivers Dniester and Southern Bug , north of Bar in Ukraine, was administered by Romania under the name of Transnistria . After the Second World War, with the peace treaty of 1947, Bessarabia, the Herza area and northern Bukovina fell to the Soviet Union and the former Soviet administrative units and Russian place names were reintroduced.

Since the mid-1980s, a national movement of Romanians developed in the Moldovan Republic. Politically, it became more and more important, finally took power before the collapse of the Soviet Union and played an important role in the country's declaration of independence. In 1989, Russian was therefore abolished as the second official language and it was decided to return to the Romanian language in Latin script. The Ukrainian, Russian and Gagauz minorities opposed this. There were also strong efforts to unite the country with Romania. Even today, Moldovan-Romanian unionism still plays a role in local politics, but it has significantly less political weight.

The Moldovan SSR was finally declared the fully independent Republic of Moldova in 1991 and Romanian the official language (renamed Moldovan again in 1994 ). After the declaration of independence, universal suffrage was confirmed in 1993.

Due to the new policy of the Republic of Moldova, perceived by many population groups as nationalistic, major conflicts arose between the central government in Chișinău and areas predominantly inhabited by ethnic minorities, in particular Transnistria and Gagauzia, from 1989 onwards . The latter regions declared independence from the Republic of Moldova in 1990, and mass protests also broke out in other parts of the country. The situation in Transnistria escalated from 1992 onwards, a war broke out with over 1,000 dead, which finally ended with the de facto independence of this part of the country.

The fighting was only ended by the intervention of the Russian 14th Army stationed on Transnistrian territory under the leadership of General Alexander Lebed . Since then, Transnistria has formed a de facto regime that encompasses the Moldovan areas east of the Dniester and tolerates an operational group of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on its territory. Since then, there has been a ceasefire between the two sides and a solution to the Transnistrian conflict is sought at the political level. Negotiations have so far not led to success, so that both parties to the conflict have now largely come to terms with the status quo .

In contrast to Transnistria, the Gagauzia region was successfully and peacefully reintegrated into the Republic of Moldova in 1994. An extensive autonomy agreement had previously been negotiated, which was finally accepted by Gagauzia.

A month before the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia, a referendum took place in Gagauzia in February 2014, which was not coordinated with the central government in Chișinău, in which 94 percent of voters supported the Republic of Moldova's accession to the Russian-dominated customs union. In addition, almost 70 percent of those involved spoke out in favor of independence should the Republic of Moldova lose its independence.

The Republic of Moldova has been a member of the GUAM Alliance since 1997 . In 2009, the country joined the Eastern Partnership initiated by the EU .


In the 2001 elections, the Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM - Partidul Comuniștilor din Republica Moldova) under Vladimir Voronin received 50.1% of the vote, but due to the threshold clause (the hurdle is 6%) against small parties, 71 out of 101 seats. She was able to return to power, Voronin was elected president by parliament. The communists owed this success primarily to the impoverished sections of the population.

In the elections on March 6, 2005 , the PCRM lost slightly, but was able to maintain its absolute majority in parliament with 46.1% of the vote and 56 seats. The second strongest party was the newly founded electoral block Democratic Moldova under the leadership of the mayor of the capital Chișinău, Serafim Urecheanu , with 28.4% of the vote and 34 seats. Another opposition party, the Christian Democratic People's Party under Iurie Roşca , received 9.1% of the vote and eleven seats.

In the Republic of Moldova, the president is elected by parliament and needs a majority of 61 votes. In the presidential elections on April 4, 2005, incumbent President Vladimir Voronin received 75 votes and thus took up a second term. Despite announcements to the contrary, the Christian-Democratic opposition party PPCD supported the communist Voronin after various "contortions" and helped him gain the necessary majority.

Demonstration of the PPCD in Chișinău in January 2002: "Romanian people - Romanian language"

A dominant theme in Moldovan politics is dealing with the separatist regions of Transnistria and Gagauzia . While Gagauzia accepted an autonomous status offered by the Moldovan government, negotiations with Transnistria are becoming much more difficult. After the armed conflict in 1992, a de facto regime around Igor Smirnov was established in Tiraspol , which controlled the area on the other side of the Dniester and established its own administrative structures there. The negotiation process between the government in Chișinău and Tiraspol is proving difficult, so that observers speak of a “frozen conflict”.

The Transnistrian conflict is not just a conflict between the elites in Chișinău and Tiraspol or between parts of the population who speak different languages; it also has a geostrategic dimension around the influence of the great powers USA and Russia in south-east Europe . This international dimension makes it extremely difficult to resolve the conflict. Negotiating efforts in the last 20 years have repeatedly failed, despite or because of international mediation efforts by Russia, Ukraine , the USA , the European Union or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) because each side tried not to give in too much , and therefore blocked a conflict resolution with the help of the allies. This was the case with the negotiations on the Russian Federation's initiative known as the Kozak Plan , which provided for the formation of a federal state on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, which failed in November 2003. Moldovan government circles saw too many advantages for Transnistria in the agreement. Some observers also assume that the elites on both sides are not interested in resolving the conflict, but rather in maintaining the status quo, which opens up sources of income for both sides.

In August 2008, increased attention was paid to the conflict, because Transnistria froze all contacts with the government in Chișinău on August 12, as "the Republic of Moldova lacked the clear and strong expression of condemning Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia and Abkhazia ." On August 26, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned the head of state of the Republic of Moldova Voronin against a military solution to the conflict based on the Georgian model. " The war over South Ossetia is a warning to everyone."

Based on the outcome of the 2006 referendum, according to which 97 percent of the Transnistrian population voted for annexation to Russia, Mikhail Burla , chairman of the Supreme Council of Transnistria, turned in April 2014 with a formal request to the Kremlin , the breakaway province to be included in the territory of the Russian Federation.

After the 2009 elections , on April 7th, tens of thousands rioted in Chișinău. The communist party received 49.9% of the vote and an absolute majority in parliament. The opposition then accused the government of electoral fraud. The elections were repeated in July 2009 (see parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova in July 2009 ). In this election, the opposition parties PLDM, PL, PDM and AMN achieved a majority of votes and agreed to form a government whose government program provided for economic reforms and rapprochement with the EU and NATO. Due to the quarrels between the now opposition communists and the governing coalition, the election of the president in parliament failed again in several attempts, which is why a new parliamentary election was scheduled for November 2010 . The governing coalition, especially the PLDM, was able to gain significant votes and thus continued to provide Prime Minister Vlad Filat . In this capacity, he was replaced by his party colleague Iurie Leancă in March 2013 . On March 16, 2012, Nicolae Timofti was elected President of the Republic of Moldova after an interim period lasting 917 days.

A parliamentary election was held on November 30, 2014 . After counting all votes received in percent and mandates (in brackets):

The EU-friendly forces from PLDM, PDM and PL thus received a clear majority of 55 compared to the pro-Russian from PSRM and PCRM with 46 seats. The turnout was 55.86%.

The cabinet presented by Prime Minister Iurie Leancă received only 41 of the 51 required votes in a vote of confidence on February 12, 2015. Six days later, Chiril Gaburici's (PLDM) cabinet was finally adopted. This comprises a total of 15 ministries, whereby the occupation of Gaburici's government does not differ from Leancă's proposal. The new Prime Minister Gaburici assured that he would continue to pursue the pro-European course already taken.

“Away with the oligarchs”: one of the slogans of the protests on September 6, 2015

On June 13, 2015, Chiril Gaburici resigned as prime minister. It turned out that his high school diploma was forged.

Less than a month later, PLDM Vice President Valeriu Streleț took over the office of prime minister. According to his own account, "restoring the dialogue with development partners and the agreement with the IMF" are top priorities for him. He would also like to promote the European mission for judicial reform in the Republic of Moldova. According to Strelet, this would require restructuring in numerous institutions. In addition, the Prime Minister would like to pay particular attention to the banking and financial sector. In April 2015, it became known that three important Moldovan banks were involved in dubious business: in November 2014 they had granted loans totaling 750 million US dollars (685.62 million euros), the traces of which, however, could be found in off- Shore banks lost. Social problems such as electricity and gas prices are also on Strelet's agenda.

On September 6, 2015, between 50,000 and 100,000 people demonstrated in the capital. The citizens' platform “Dignity and Justice” calls for the resignation of President Timofti, whose term of office ends in 2016, and the leadership of the Central Bank and the Public Prosecutor General, as well as a return to the path of European integration. Some protesters started setting up tents. The protests, which were quickly dubbed theMaidan ”, were divided into two camps - one pro-EU and one pro-Russian. What they had in common was the demand for new elections and the condemnation of corrupt oligarchs. However, there were also clashes between the various protesting groups, for example on September 13 between supporters of “dignity and justice” and a group from Greater Romania . On October 29, 2015, Parliament expressed its distrust of Prime Minister Streleț.

During the search for a successor to Streleț, the country plunged into a constitutional crisis in January 2016: President Timofti rejected the candidate Vladimir Plahotniuc proposed by the Democratic Party on "grounds of integrity". The ruling coalition insisted on the oligarch Plahotniuc for several days until it finally nominated Technology Minister Pavel Filip as a replacement candidate. Filip's swearing in again led to mass protests.

After a constitutional amendment was reversed, the president was re-elected by the people in November 2016. Especially young voters and citizens from urban areas had voted for the surprisingly successful Maia Sandu in the first ballot . In the Autonomous Region of Gagauzia, however, the pro-Russian socialist leader Igor Dodon won 91 percent of the vote, while there was uncertainty about Dodon's overhang among voters from Transnistria. In the runoff election for president , Dodon won with 52.18% of the vote.

In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “partially free”. In the “political rights” category, the Republic of Moldova received a grade of 3, while respecting civil rights the country also received a grade of 3 (1 is the best grade and 7 the worst).

In 2015 and 2016, various observers considered the Republic of Moldova to be a captured state , a hijacked state in which the ruling Democratic Party (PDM) alone represented the interests of its then chairman, the oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc , who de facto controlled Moldovan politics and economy .

After Plahotniuc and his Democratic Party were ousted from power by a government alliance of the Socialist Party and the ACUM party block after the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova in 2019 , this government under Prime Minister Maia Sandu failed after a vote of no confidence by the co-ruling socialists on December 12, supported by the Democratic Party. November 2019.

In the 2019 Democracy Index of the British magazine The Economist, Moldova ranks 83rd out of 167 countries and is considered a “hybrid regime”.

Relationship with Romania

In the past, points of friction between the neighboring countries were both the Republic of Moldova's debts to the Romanian electricity companies and the cultural identity of the Romanians, who make up the majority in the Republic of Moldova. The largest part of the Republic of Moldova, together with today's Romanian region of Moldova, formed the empire of Stephen the Great (see Principality of Moldova ), the common national hero of both states, and was Romanian territory from 1918 to 1940/1944.

A movement to unite Romania and Moldova emerged between 1990 and 1992; from 1993, however, the Republic of Moldova began to distance itself again from Romania. With the state visit of the Romanian President Traian Băsescu to Chișinău in January 2005 and the subsequent return visit of the Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin , the Moldovan-Romanian relations reached a high point and were better than ever.

Following the parliamentary elections in April 2009 , fierce street battles broke out. The Romanian ambassador was initially expelled and the visa requirement for Romanian citizens was reintroduced.

In general, Romania supports the Republic of Moldova in rapprochement with the EU and on the Transnistria issue. Romania pleads for the preservation of the territorial integrity of the neighboring country and rejects Transnistrian separatism.

Relations with the European Union

dark green: States that have deposited the instrument of ratification of the Association Agreement

In 1998 a partnership and cooperation agreement with the European Union came into force. The EU supports the development of a market economy and a functioning democracy. The EUBAM Republic of Moldova / Ukraine, an EU border control mission on the Moldovan-Ukrainian border , has been in existence since November 30, 2005 to prevent smuggling (especially weapons, drugs and people) from and to Transnistria.

On May 7, 2009 the Republic of Moldova joined the Eastern Partnership with five other member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) . Association talks with the Republic of Moldova began in Chișinău in January 2010 as part of the EU's European Neighborhood Policy . In the long term, EU membership is a goal, said Moldovan Foreign Minister Iurie Leancă , but first they want to create a free trade area, solve economic problems together and, above all, abolish the visa requirement for Moldovan citizens.

On December 5, 2011, the European Commission announced a comprehensive free trade agreement with the Republic of Moldova. Negotiations have started as part of the proposed Association Agreement. The EU wants the free trade areas to serve the long-term political stabilization of the country. The Republic of Moldova currently has preferential access to the European market; the EU is the country's main trading partner.

On June 27, 2014, the Economic and Political Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the EU was concluded in Brussels . On July 2, 2014, the Moldovan Parliament ratified the EU Association Agreement. The Russian news agency RIA Novosti then reported: “Supporters of EU integration cheered this event in front of parliament. Criminal proceedings are initiated against opponents of rapprochement with the EU ”.

It is generally assumed by Western observers that Russia is following the Moldovan course of rapprochement with the European Union with suspicion and is sometimes trying to hinder it. In November 2013, Russia imposed a ban on imports of Moldovan wine because traces of plastic softeners were found there, although the measured values ​​were still below those permitted for Russian and European drinking water. With wine accounting for more than 25 percent of the Republic of Moldova's agricultural exports and the bulk of its exports going to Russia, it has been a severe blow to the Moldovan economy. Western observers suspected that the embargo was a warning from Russia regarding the association talks between the Republic of Moldova and the EU. On the day of the ratification of the Association Agreement with the EU, the Russian side imposed an import ban on meat products from Moldova. After the annexation of Crimea, fears of possible Russian aggression are growing in Chișinău. There is a high level of dependency on Moscow, particularly in the field of energy policy. Although Russia is gradually losing importance as a foreign trade partner, the country is still dependent on the Russian market in some key sectors such as agriculture, food, textiles, etc. The Moldovan government therefore fears that the Kremlin could increasingly resort to political and economic pressure in the future to torpedo the country's European integration.

According to surveys, there is no clear majority in the population for the future foreign policy direction of the country. Around 49% of the population are in favor of joining the European Union , while between 46% and 54% of the population of the Republic of Moldova support joining the Eurasian Economic Union .

Relationship with the United States

The US supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova. In January 2010, in the presence of Prime Minister Vlad Filat in Washington, an agreement was signed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in which the USA pledges the Republic of Moldova to provide aid with agriculture and infrastructure worth US $ 262 million over a period of five years .


The Republic of Moldova was admitted to the UN on March 21, 1992 and is a member of the following specialized agencies of the UN:

As a former Soviet republic, Moldova is also a member of the CIS . Other political organizations of which the Republic of Moldova is a member are:

The Republic of Moldova is also a member of three economic organizations:

and in two cultural organizations:


The Moldovan armed forces are divided into army and air forces . A Marine exist due to the internal situation of the country does not. Conscription exists in the Republic of Moldova . The service currently lasts 12 months. In 2017, Moldova spent just under 0.4 percent of its economic output or 29.7 million US dollars on its armed forces. The country's defense budget is one of the smallest in the world.

Transnistria has its own armed forces .

Administrative division

Administrative division of the Republic of Moldova

The territory of the Republic of Moldova is divided into five Munizipien ( Municipii; Singular Municipiu) and 32 Rajons (Raioane; Sg. Raion) . There are also two autonomous territorial units. Two of the municipalities (Comrat and Tiraspol) are de jure part of an autonomous territorial unit (Gagauzia and Transnistria), another municipality (Bender) is de facto controlled by Transnistria, as is parts of the Căușeni district.


Autonomous territorial units

  • Gagauzia (autonomous territorial unit)
  • Transnistria (autonomous territorial unit with special legal status - but actually a stabilized de facto regime without international recognition).


Old administrative structure

Territories in the Republic of Moldova

Until February 2003, the Republic of Moldova was divided into three municipalities, nine districts (Județe; Județ) and one autonomous and one apostate area:




The railway network has a length of 1190 km and is designed in 1520 mm wide gauge . There are no electrified routes, the traffic is carried out with diesel traction vehicles. At the moment there are direct connections in international passenger traffic. a. to Bucharest , Warsaw , Moscow and Saint Petersburg . Domestic rail traffic is insignificant because of the very limited supply.


In 2012, the entire road network covered around 9,352 km, of which 8,835 km were paved. Regionally and nationally, the bus is the most important means of transport in passenger transport. For international traffic there are bus connections to numerous major European cities.


With access to the Dniester and Prut, the country has important inland waterways. The duty-free port of Giurgiulești was built at the entrance to the Danube , which is only a few hundred meters wide .

Air traffic

The Aeroportul Internațional Chișinău (IATA code: KIV) is the only international airport in the Republic of Moldova. From there there are direct flights to Vienna , Istanbul , Moscow , Timișoara , Budapest , Bucharest , Paris , Frankfurt , Munich and Rome .

The first flight of a commercial aircraft between Frankfurt and Chișinău took place on July 7, 2003. It was a Lufthansa charter flight , on which 182 passengers were carried with an Airbus A321 . It was also the first landing of this type of aircraft at Chișinău Airport.

A conflict in the aviation sector that had been going on since the beginning of 2003 was settled. The resumption of direct flights between Frankfurt and Chișinău took place in July 2005; they were carried out by Air Moldova (IATA code: 9U) and the German code- sharing partner Cirrus Airlines .


Four nationally distributed daily newspapers appear in the Republic of Moldova . 47.9% of the population used the internet in 2016.

The state broadcaster Teleradio-Moldova (TRM) produces the radio programs Radio Moldova and operates the foreign radio station Radio Moldova Internațional (RMI). RMI produces programs in Romanian, English, Russian, French and Spanish that are distributed over the Internet. TRM also broadcasts the two television programs Moldova 1 and Moldova International (Moldova TVI).

In early 2014, representatives from the EU and the OSCE voiced concerns about freedom of the press in Moldova. The background to this was the sudden ban on several opposition television channels. In the 2017 press freedom list published by Reporters Without Borders , Moldova was ranked 80th out of 180 countries.


Wine-growing regions in the Republic of Moldova
Development of the three economic sectors


The Republic of Moldova lives mainly from agriculture and the related industry. The climate favors fruit and wine growing . Along with brandy and canned goods (fruit / vegetables), wine is a main export item, as well as textile products and small electrical appliances. The country owes its high air quality to the fact that it is not an industrialized state.

The gross domestic product (GDP) of the Republic of Moldova was around 6.09 billion euros in 2016. The gross domestic product per capita was around 2,258 euros in the same year. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, the Republic of Moldova ranks 89th out of 137 countries (2017-2018). In 2017, the country ranked 110th out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .

The Republic of Moldova has a largely free market economy . As part of the association agreement with the EU , the establishment of a free trade area has been agreed. The agricultural sector contributed 12.3% to GDP in 2014. The service sector accounted for 60% of GDP in 2014 (January to September). The industrial production had a share of 14%.

The unemployment rate is given as only 4.1% in 2017. However, underemployment is widespread and wages are very low. In the same year, 32.3% of the total workforce worked in agriculture, 12% in industry and 55.7% in the service sector. The Republic of Moldova is one of the last European countries in which a large part of the workforce is still employed in the primary sector. The total number of workers is estimated at 1.29 million in 2017, of which 49% are women.

In the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International Moldova in 2017 was ranked 122 out of 180 countries, which was on a par with Mali and Nepal .

Economic development

Before its independence in the early 1990s, the Republic of Moldova was one of the most prosperous Soviet republics. Since 1992, as a result of the unresolved Transnistrian conflict, the economic situation has deteriorated drastically. The average monthly wage rose from 30 euros (approx. 465 lei ) in February 2003 to 102 euros (approx. 1,695 lei) in 2006, and pensioners receive an average of 12 euros per month. In 2003, at least 100 euros were needed to cover the subsistence level. Here, however, the enormous importance of the shadow economy must be taken into account, through which the actual income of many is increased in some cases enormously. The official statistics are therefore of limited informative value.

The Republic of Moldova usually has a VAT rate of 20%. Some foods, such as B. bread or milk, but also gas or postage are subject to a reduced tax of 8%. Since 2014, citizens of the Republic of Moldova have been able to move around the EU without a visa. The European Union has promised the Republic of Moldova substantial financial aid.

The Republic of Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and the economically weakest country in Europe in terms of GDP per capita. A quarter of the population has therefore emigrated abroad; From there, these emigrants transfer money to the Republic of Moldova, which in total amounts to more than its GDP.

Since 1999, GDP growth, adjusted for purchasing power, has developed as follows:

1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
9.70 11.30 10.30 11.00 7.79 8.58 8.41 9.07 9.76
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
10.67 10.13 10.99 6.80 −0.70 8.90 1.80 −0.5 4.0

Foreign trade 2018

The country mainly exports food and beverages (especially wine ) as well as textiles and machines. The most important target countries are:

The most important partners on the import side are:

  • Romania 14.5%
  • Russia 12.5%
  • People's Republic of China 10.4%
  • Ukraine 10.0%

On March 27, 2006, the Russian government imposed a ban on the import of Moldovan and Georgian wine products. The ban, which according to official information should have been carried out because of excessive pollution, led to fierce criticism from the wine producers in the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. About 82% of all Moldovan wine exports went to Russia, which was the most important export partner for Moldovan wine. Towards the end of 2006, the import ban on Moldovan wines was lifted again.

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 2.46 billion , compared to revenues of US $ 2.29 billion. This corresponds to a deficit of 2.2% of GDP .

The national debt was 38.0% of GDP.

In 2006 the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was in the following areas:

environmental Protection

66,171.7 ha (corresponds to 1.96% of the country's area) are designated as protected areas, rather few in comparison to other European countries.

The Republic of Moldova does not have a national park.

According to a worldwide study by the University of Leeds in February 2018, the Republic of Moldova is the only country in Europe whose development is taking place within the ecological limits.


Marțișor (Little March )


In the Republic of Moldova, minority students have the right to instruction in their mother tongue . The income level of teachers in schools and universities is low. The country has numerous universities and colleges. More than a dozen public and private universities are located in Chișinău, there are also universities in Bălți , Cahul , Comrat , Taraclia and Tiraspol .

Traditionally, the French language has a high priority in the education system of the Republic of Moldova. The language is taught in primary school from the age of eight. The number of students learning French is twice the number of those learning English.

public holidays

date holiday Brief description
December 31st and January 1st New Years Day
January 7th and 8th Christmas Orthodox Christmas
January 14th New Year orthodox new year day
1st March Marțişor symbolic flowers on clothing
8th of March women's Day International Women's Day
variable Easter Orthodox Easter
1st of May Labor Day
May 8th and 9th Day of remembrance
May 9 day of the victory
August 27 Independence day Independence from the Soviet Union (1991)
August 31 Limba Noastră cea Română Romanian Language Day


Soviet postage stamp from 1991 with the Moldovan musical instruments fluier (flute), cobsa (lute), cimpoi (bagpipe), nai (panpipe) and țimbal (dulcimer).

The folk music of the Republic of Moldova has been shaped by the cultural heritage of various peoples since the Dacian era and is in many ways similar to the music of Romania, which has Slavic elements due to its location on the edge of south-eastern Europe . The tradition within the rural culture, which has changed little over the centuries, gave rise to independent regional styles in which the influences of Bulgarian , Hungarian, Ottoman , Ukrainian and Roma music are present. To this day, folk music is largely associated with seasonal festivals and rites of passage. Another essential line of tradition is the music of the shepherds, which is reflected in the predominant solo singing - while choral singing is rather rare, in the close connection of vocal and instrumental melodies, in the use of certain musical instruments and in an epic song tradition.

The professional folk musicians have been known as lăutari (singular lăutar , derived from the missing plucked lăută , from Arabic al-ʿūd ) since the early Middle Ages . The names of some lăutari have been handed down since the 15th century. Their ensemble, with which they play dance music at festivals, is called taraf and consists of flutes (generally fluier ) and violins ( vioara ) as the leading melodic instruments. The buckled neck lute cobsă is often added as a rhythmic accompanying instrument . Other instruments in a taraf ensemble are viola , double bass , cymbal (dulcimer), clarinet , nai (panpipe) and cimpoi ( bagpipe ) with different instrumentation .

The shepherd tradition includes heroic epics sung as soloists, especially the very old story of the sheep Miorița , which tells of the murder of a young shepherd. Typical musical instruments of the shepherds various flutes, including the longitudinal flute Tilincă without finger holes as well as the long trumpet trâmbiţă (corresponding to the Ukrainian trembita ), the sack pipe and the jaw drum drîmbă .

The unanimous choir songs at seasonal festivals and family celebrations include the colindă at Christmas time and the malanca on the eve of New Year's Day. The melodies of the lyrical songs are heavily ornamented and, in contrast to the melodically and rhythmically simply structured shepherd songs, have a relatively large range of over an octave . Ceremonial and entertaining folk dances are an essential part of musical culture and come in over 300 named variations. In terms of their shape and ritual function, they are related to other regional dances in the Carpathian region and on the Balkan Peninsula.

The Bulgarian minority has its own folk music tradition in its East Thracian homeland, in which antiphonal chants occur. The music of the Gagauz contains most of the elements from Ottoman music, which includes richly ornamented complex melodies and rhythms.

Classical music attributed to the Republic of Moldova emerged at the end of the 18th century when elements of Moldovan folk music appeared in the operas of Russian composers. When the eastern territory of the Principality of Moldova became part of the Russian Empire in 1812, the influence of Russian composers grew, some of whom settled in Chișinău. In 1919, under the Romanian government, the Unirea Conservatory was established there, the first higher education institution in Bessarabia, which also promoted professional music education. The symphony orchestras founded in the 1930s had to submit to Soviet cultural policy after a forced break during the Second World War in the socialist era. In 1955, today's National Opera was opened in Chișinău. After independence, the musical return to folk music began. On the one hand, the national culture is to be freed from foreign influences, on the other hand there are efforts to combine own musical elements with the innovations of the international classical music scene.

Classical Moldovan composers are Alexandru Cristea (1890–1942), the composer of the national anthem Limba Noastră , Ștefan Neaga (1900–1951), Vasile Zagorschi (1926–2003), Zlata Tkach (1928–2006), Iulia Țibulschi (* 1933) and Arkady Luxembourg (* 1939).

to eat and drink

The cuisine of the Republic of Moldova is closely related to the cuisine of Romania (especially from the Moldova region ). There are also influences from Russian , Greek and Turkish cuisine .


Monasteries in Moldova

  • Butuceni monastery in Orheiul Vechi (15th to 17th centuries)
  • Călărăşeuca Monastery (18th century)
  • Căpriana Monastery with the Church of St. George (15th century)
  • Ciuflea Monastery (19th century) with the Church of St. Teodor, in Chișinău
  • Condrita Monastery
  • Curchi monastery (18th century)
  • Frumoasa Monastery
  • Hâncul Monastery (17th century)
  • Hârbovăț monastery (18th century)
  • Hârjauca Monastery (18th century)
  • Hîncu Monastery (17th century)
  • Hirbovat Monastery
  • Japca Monastery (16th century)
  • Rudi (Rughi) monastery with the Church of the Holy Trinity (18th century)
  • Saharna Monastery (18th century)
  • Suruceni Monastery (18th century)
  • Țipova monastery (18th century)
  • Ulmu monastery
  • Vărzăreşti monastery (15th century); Monasteries - Views 2013

Churches worth seeing

Monastery church and cave monastery in Orheiul Vechi

Stylistic influences

Due to the changeable history of Moldova and other external influences (trade routes), there are many influences on the building style. In the Christian-Orthodox Republic of Moldova, in which Poles, Austrians and Western Ukrainians settled, there are many churches that are built on the Roman Catholic model, such as the cathedral church of St. Nicholas in Bălți as well as the Catholic churches in Camenca and in Chișinău. 19th century classicism influenced the styles as well as the work of Armenian architects - Church of the Entombment in Belgorod on the Dniester (15th century), the Church of Our Lady (1803) in Chișinău and the Armenian churches in Bălți (20th century) and Hînceşti (19th century).

Under the rule of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the 18th centuries, churches were often built in secret. The Church of the Dressing in Căușeni is a highlight of this period. To protect against discovery, it was given an inconspicuous appearance. The church was half buried in the ground, later secularized and converted into a stable.

The most intense founding period in the history of Moldovan architecture is the last quarter of the 18th century. Churches, cathedrals and monasteries were built in large numbers, which is due to the stabilization of the political situation. Russia struggled to consolidate its influence in Bessarabia throughout the 19th century . Efforts were made to implement the Russian style in church architecture. The Russian Empire did not save money to build churches. In view of the huge sums of money available, pearls of church architecture were created, such as the chapel of the girls' high school in Chișinău and the ensemble on the former cathedral square with the huge church dome as a bell tower.

Castles, palaces and fortresses

Soroca Castle

Many Moldovan castles from the Middle Ages (historical areas were e.g. Principality of Moldova , Bessarabia ) are now on the territories of Romania and Ukraine and only a few are on Moldovan territory, especially the Soroca Castle and the Bender Castle, which has been expanded into a fortress (Tighina). Many culturally and historically valuable buildings are located in the capital Chișinău . Some of them could be seen as city ​​palaces . The Moldovan monument protection authority AIRM identifies almost 900 architectural monuments, including 49 mansions of boyars , but without listing Moldovan castles, palaces , fortresses or city palaces separately.


The Moldovan Football Association, newly established in 1990, has laid a solid foundation for national football. In 2006 the 10,500-seat Zimbru Stadium was reopened, a large part of the association's resources were put into training for young coaches, and national football academies are being set up. The Moldovan national football team is in 175th place in the FIFA world rankings (as of May 2020) . Moldovan sports clubs that occasionally play in competitions at European level are:

The National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Moldova was founded in 1991 and accepted by the International Olympic Committee in 1993 with the country code MDA . Since 1996, Moldova has participated in four Summer Olympic Games . The country sent 31 athletes to the 2008 Games in China . In total, the Moldovan athletes won five medals at the Olympic Games .

In the field of formation dancing , the Moldovan club DSC Kodryanka Kishinev has been a world leader for many years. The club has been European and world champions several times.

In rugby (rugby union), the national team in EM group B1 plays together with Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Belgium. The last two international matches (2010) against Poland (36:25) and Ukraine (28:19) were clearly won. The Republic of Moldova ranks 30th in the IRB ranking. The rugby federation comprises seven clubs with 2,600 registered players.


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Broadcast reports

Web links

Wiktionary: Moldova  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Republic of Moldova  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Moldova  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Moldova  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

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Coordinates: 47 °  N , 29 °  E