Formerly part of Romania, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting the Slavic majority population, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, who have proclaimed a “Transnistria” republic. One of the poorest nations in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist as its president in 2001.


Location: Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania
Geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 29 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total:33,851 sq. km

land: 32,891 sq. km

water:960 sq. km

Population: 3,656,843 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.5% (male 344,101/female 325,995)

15-64 years: 74% (male 1,550,386/female 1,643,108)

65 years and over: 10.4% (male 164,512/female 286,275) (2011 est.)

Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Moldova

conventional short form: Moldova

local long form: Republica Moldova

local short form: Moldova

former: Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type: republic
Capital: name: Chisinau (Kishinev)

note: pronounced kee-shee-now

geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 28 51 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Telephones – main lines in use: 1.161 million (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 3.165 million (2009)
Airports: 10 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 5

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2012)

Military branches: National Army: Ground Forces, Rapid Reaction Forces, Air and Air Defence Forces (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory military service; 17 years of age for voluntary service; male registration required at age 16; 12-month service obligation (2009)


Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe despite recent progress from its small economic base. It enjoys a favourable 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 almost all of its energy supplies. Moldova’s dependence on Russian energy was underscored at the end of 2005, when a Russian-owned electrical station in Moldova’s separatist Transnistria region cut off power to Moldova and Russia’s Gazprom cut off natural gas in disputes over pricing. Russia’s decision to ban Moldovan wine and agricultural products, coupled with its decision to double the price Moldova paid for Russian natural gas, slowed GDP growth in 2006.

Transnational Issues:

Disputes – international: Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor the transit of people and commodities through Moldova’s break-away Transnistria region, which remains under OSCE supervision
Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transhipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia via Central Asia to Russia, Western Europe, and possibly the US; widespread crime and underground economic activity