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CIA facts on Moldova


Moldova is a landlocked area bounded by Ukraine on the east and Romania to the west. It is the second-smallest of the former Soviet republics and the most densely populated. Moldova's economy resembles those of the Central Asian republics more than those of the other states on the western edge of the former Soviet Union. Industry accounts for only 20% of its labor force, while agriculture's share is more than one-third.

Moldova's proximity to the Black Sea gives it a mild and sunny climate. This makes the area ideal for agriculture, which accounts for about 40% of the country's GDP. The fertile soil supports wheat, corn, barley, tobacco, sugar beets, and soybeans. Beef and dairy cattle are raised, and beekeeping and silkworm breeding are widespread.

Moldova's best-known product comes from its extensive and well- developed vineyards, which are concentrated in the central and southern regions. In addition to world-class wine, Moldova produces liquors and champagne and is known for its sunflower seeds, prunes, and other fruits.



Moldova occupies most of what has been known as Bessarabia. Moldova's location has made it a historic passageway between Asia and southern Europe, as well as the victim of frequent warfare. Greeks, Romans, Huns, and Bulgars invaded the area, which in the 13th century became part of the Mongol empire. An independent Moldovan state emerged briefly in the 14th century but fell under Ottoman Turkish rule in the 16th century.

After the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-12, the eastern half of Moldova (Bessarabia) between the Prut and the Dniester Rivers was ceded to Russia, while Romanian Moldova (west of the Prut) remained with the Turks. Romania has conquered its independence in 1878. The beginning of the 20th century was dramatic for the Russian monarchism. The country was weakened from the fight of different political groups for the power in the state and at the backyards of it. Sfatul Tarii, the elected political body in Moldova has voted the reunification of Moldova to Romania in 1918, the year of the Great October Revolution and the installment of the communist system in Russia. The Soviet Union never recognized the seizure and created an autonomous Moldavian republic on the east side of the Dniester River in 1924.


In 1940, Romania was forced to cede eastern Moldova to the U.S.S.R., which established the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. Romania sought to regain it by joining with Germany in the 1941 attack on the U.S.S.R. Moldova was ceded back to Moscow when hostilities between the U.S.S.R. and Romania ceased at the end of World War II. The present boundary between Moldova and Romania was established in 1947. Moldova declared independence from the Soviet Union on August 27, 1991. "Moldova was not ceded to Moscow (it was the effect of the Packt Ribentropp-Molotov 1939). In fact, Moldova was forced to join URSS. In 1949 Russia officials organized the general hunger (Moldavians were dying) and mass deportation of this people."


The population of the Trans-Dniester ethnic area is 40% Moldovan, 28% Ukrainian, and 23% Russian. Moldova has tried to meet the Russian minority's demands by offering the region rather broad cultural and political autonomy. The dispute has strained Moldova's relations with Russia. The July 1992 cease-fire agreement established a tripartite peacekeeping force comprised of Moldovan, Russian, and Trans- Dniestrian units. Negotiations to resolve the conflict continue, and the cease-fire is still in effect. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also is trying to facilitate a negotiated settlement and has sent an observer mission.

Tensions continue in the region, but no serious violations of human rights have been reported in the areas controlled by the Moldovan Government. Strains over language were defused when the parliament voted in 1994 to delay until 1997 the implementation of a 1989 Moldovan law. The law would make Romanian the official language, replace the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin one, and mean language testing. Although the law would protect the use of Russian and other languages, it has raised much skepticism, especially among Russian speakers.

Practical Information about Moldova

Local time:Easter European Time Zone (GMT +2). Summertime (GMT +3) is in effect from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October

Electricity: 220 V, 50 Hz, European standard 2 pin plugs


  • Many good quality, affordable, minibus lines operated between major cities of Moldova.
  • Many good quality, affordable, bus lines and trains between the major cities of neighbor countries Russia, Rumania, Ukraine and Belorussia.
  • Bus tickets can be purchased only at bus station and by cash. Some of the them even in advance.
  • Train tickets can be purchased only at the station by cash or credit card
  • Airline tickets can be booked online, but purchased at the agency by cash or credit card.

    Money (ATMs for Maestro/Cirrus bankcards)

    Chisinau / Kishinev: All ATMs

    Other towns: Central banks in bigger cities such as MoldovaAgroindBank and Banca de Economii.


    Moldova - Lei, approx. rates: 1 USD = 11,5 MDL, 1 EUR = 16,3 MDL

    Mini bus in Chisinau: 3MDL per person
    Bus fare: 2 MDL per person
    Trolley: 1 MDL per person
    : 25-30 MDL from the center to any part of the city
    Airport pickup: 15 USD
    Bed in Chisinau - 1 night, incl. breakfast, TV, hot water, washing machine and kitchen: 10 USD per person
    Bus Chisinau -> Tiraspol (Transdnister): 15 MDL
    Visa for Transdnister: 20 MDL, issued at the border
    Bus Chisinau -> Bucharest (Rumania): 150 MDL
    Train Chisinau -> Bucharest (Rumania): 450 MDL 
    Bus Chisinau -> Kiev (Ukraine): 150 MDL
    Flight Chisinau -> Kiev (Ukraine): 100 EURO (since 18/05/04, everyday except Saturday and Sunday) 
    Flight Chisinau -> Moscow (Russia): 60 EURO (1 h 30 min to Domodedovo) 
    Train Chisinau -> Moscow (Russia): 450 MDL (28 h)

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