Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moldova: A struggling country in Europe.

Moldova: Another wine country trying to make it.

The Republic of Moldova (Republica Moldova) is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south.

Originally Moldova was part of the greater region of Moldavia, but it has spent much of its history being the skinny kid pushed around by the bigger bullies.

Moldova is landlocked, but is still very close to the Black Sea.

Capitol: Chisinau, located on Byk River in the central part of the country.

The country's other important cities are Tiraspol, Tighina (also known as Bender) and Balti.

Population: 4,320,490 (July 2007 est.).

Despite being the most densely populated (132 person per sq km) of the former Soviet Republics it has very few large cities.

Landscape: Most of Moldova's territory covers a hilly plain cut deeply by many streams and rivers.

Climate: 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, Moldovan wine, and tobacco.

(Brief) History: Moldovans are descended from the Dacians who were conquered by the Romans in 100 AD. This was followed by a millennium of instability and change, as the region was invaded by neighboring countries and made a focal point for the diaspora of Magyars, Slavs and Bulgarians spreading across Eastern Europe. It was also a port of call for Byzantine, Italian and Greek merchants.

By the beginning of the Middle Ages, when the flow of people had died down to a trickle and an organized state had begun to emerge, Moldavia (as part of Romania) was already a potpourri of different races and cultures. The Principality of Moldavia, it was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1812. At the dissolution of the latter, it united with other Romanian lands in Romania in 1918.

After being occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, and changing hands in 1941 and 1944 during World War II, it was known as the Moldavian SSR from then until 1991. Moldova declared its independence from the Soviet Union on August of 1991.

Although Moldova has been independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River despite signing international obligations to withdraw.....

Government: Moldova is a parliamentary democracy. It has a President as its head of state and a Prime Minister as its head of government.

(The Presidential Palace)

The country is a member state of the United Nations, WTO, OSCE, GUAM, CIS, BSEC and other international organizations. Moldova has officially been a neutral country since its independence, and an early member of the NATO Partnership for Peace.

Moldova aspires to join the European Union and is implementing its first three-year Action Plan within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) of the EU.


Ethnic groups: Moldovan/Romanian 78.2%, Ukrainian 8.4%, Russian 5.8%, Gagauz 4.4%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 1.3% (2004 census)

Religion: Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5%

Languages: Moldovan (official), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)

The Moldovan language is virtually the same as Romainian, but as a feat of nationalism the Moldovan government made it the officia language after the country gained independence. You've got to respect that.


Moldovan cuisine has had a great influence on the traditional food of the other nationalities that live on this territory. The ingredients used in the traditional meals are: a variety of vegetables like tomatoes, green peppers, aubergines, white cabbage, beans, onions, garlic, etc. The vegetables are used for salads and sauces; they are baked, pickled, salted, and canned thus becoming a real food art.

The maize and maize flour give a specific color to the traditional meals, like soups, biscuits, flakes, alcohol free drinks, etc. The most common is “mamaliga” – a maize porridge or polenta with a fine and delicious taste. "Mamaliga" is served together with diced meat, cheese, fried meat, cream, etc.

Dancing is a big part of Moldovan cultural tradition. The traditional dances have also been influenced by the various other countries that have controlled Moldova throughout history.


Moldova is best known for vineyards and wine-making. The famous Moldovan wines are well known and appreciated at home and far beyond the country borders. The wines can be dry, sweet and strong, they have a varied bouquet of flavours and colours. Strong drinks such as plum brandy, are produced using traditional methods.

Per capita wine consumption is among the highest in the world.

Other exports include: Exports: sugar, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles

All of the energy supplies for Moldova must be imported (gas, coal, etc), this leaves Moldova at a great economic disadvantage.

Currency: Moldovan Leu (Lei) The name means "lion". 1 US Dollar = 11.93700 Moldovan Leu.

Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe despite recent progress from its small economic base.
Around 25% of the working population in Moldova work in countries outside of Moldova.

Rogue Moldovans:

Moldova has a break away sect known as Transnistria.

Transnistria is a de jure part of Moldova, as its independence is not recognized by any country, although de facto it is not controlled by the Moldovan government.
Transnistria operates its own government and seeks independence from Moldova and re-unification with the Soviet Union. It has its own currency, constitution, parliament, flag and anthem. Russian troops still have a presence in Transnistria
This region hosts most of Moldova's industrial infrastructure, but its economic potential is limited by its international isolation. Troubles with Transnistria may prohibit Moldova from entering the European Union.


B said...

i can't wait! will there be gypsies involved?

Missy said...

We can only hope!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Wow, I now know more about Moldova than I ever did. I love this blog!

Norwego said...

I love your blog. I love geography, and I frequently pick a country at random and read all about it on Wikipedia.
But now I have your blog.


B said...

Aw, no gypsies.

The whole Transniwhatever thing is so strange! How does part of a country get it's own parliament, etc. Only in Eastern Europe..Oy!

Anonymous said...