Moldova

The Salvation Army officially started working in Moldova in 1994.

General

Capital: Chisinau
Surface: 33.851 km²
Number of inhabitants: 3 million
Language: Romanian
Religion: Orthodox, Jewish
Currency: euro
Government form: parliamentary republic 

Development

Moldova has a score of 0.699 on the Human Development Index (HDI). This is a composite number that includes numbers related to life expectancy, education and per capita income. This number is used to rank countries in four levels of human development. The higher these factors, the higher the index number. Moldova ranks number 107 out of 186 countries worldwide. (source: UNDP

History and politics

Contemporary Moldavia has long been a part of the historical region of Bessarabia. This region was primarily inhabited by two tribes, the Skythen people and the Thracians. In the year 106, Bessarabia became part of the Roman province of Davie which was ruled by the Roman emperor Trajan.During the second half of the 15th century, Southeast Europe was threatened by the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey) and Bessarabiabecame indebted to the Ottomans for 300 years.In 1792 the Ottomans were forced to give up Bessarabia to the Russian Empire. After the domination of the Soviet Union, Bessarabia merged with Romania in 1918. During the First World War, Bessarabia succeeded in becoming independent from the Russian Empire but during the Second World War, the Soviet Union managed to reconquer Bessarabia. The period between 1945 and 1947 was characterized by famine due to prolonged drought. In 1989, the Moldovan Popular Front was established, an association of cultural and political groups. Large demonstrations by ethnic Romanians led to the designation of Romanian as official language and the replacement of the head of the Communist Party. However, the Slavic minorities did not agree with the increasing influence of the ethnic Romanians. The first democratic elections were held on February 25, 1990. The Popular Front won the elections with a large majority. Communist Mircea Snegur was elected president of the Supreme Soviet (the highest legislative bodies of the Soviet socialist republics between 1936 and 1993). That same year, he became president of the Republic of Moldova although the country was only recognized as an independent republic when it joined the United Nations after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992. Around 2000 a Moldovan Communist Party came to power. When Romania joined the EU in 2007, 800.000 Romanians from the Republic of Moldova applied for Romanian citizenship. On November 13, 2014, Moldova and the EU signed an association treaty. As of 2016, Premier Pavel Filip is the prime minister of Moldova and the country’s president is Igor Dodon. The pro-European Pavel Filip and pro-Russian Dodon are often in disagreement. In October, 2017 Filip encouraged the pro-European Eugen Sturza to become Minister of Defense. As to be expected, Dodon was against the idea of having another pro-European candidate in the parliament.

Economy

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The country has a moderate climate and good soil for agriculture which is why it largely depends on the cultivation of grapes and tobacco. However, it has few natural sources. Oil, coal and natural gas all need to be imported, mainly from Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, energy shortages caused a sharp decline in agricultural production thus negatively effecting the economy. (source: landenweb.nl)  

Culture

The vast majority of Moldova's population consists of Romanians, but there are Ukrainian and Russian minorities as well. Literature and poetry are important parts of the Moldovan culture. Mihai Eminescu is the most important Moldovan poet in the Romanian language. In the field of sport, especially wrestling, football and rugby are popular. (source: parlement.com