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Republic of Moldova

History
The Republic of Moldova is a small country, favorably situated in the Southeast part of Europe, neighboring Romania to the West and Ukraine to the East. This piece of land boasts a rich history, abundant in dramatic and agitated events.
 
From the XIV century it was a part of the Moldova Principality, situated between Oriental Carpathians and the Nistru river, in the north bounded by Hotin, and in the South - by the Low Danube and the Black Sea.
 
Following the Peace concluded in Bucharest, in 1812, a part of this territory was asigned to Czarist Russia, which called it Basarabia - an older name, earlier attributed to the southern part. The aim was to identify this territory as a separate geographic entity from the Moldova Principality.
 
The Independence of the Democratic Republic of Moldova was proclaimed in January 1918. And later, on March 27 1918 it was decided to re-unite it with Romania. The next annexure process took place in 1940, following the Molotov - Ribbentrop summit. According to this Basarabia became part of the USSR and was proclaimed as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldavia. It comprised only nine Basarabian counties and six districts from the left bank of the Nistru River. The present territory of Moldova is smaller compared to the area attributed to Russian authorities in 1812, since the North Hotin, Acherman and the southern Ismail were given up in 1940 by the Soviet authorities to Ukraine.
 
Due to the restructuring process that started in the Central and Eastern Europe, in June 1990 Moldova proclaimed its sovereignty, and on August 27, 1991 - its State Independence. In March 2, 1992, the Republic of Moldova became a member of the United Nations.

Geography
Location: Eastern Europe, north-east of Romania
Geographic coordinates: 45o28' - 48o28' N, 26o40' - 30o06' E
Area:
total: 33,843 sq. km
land: 33,371 sq. km
water: 472 sq. km (main rivers: Danube, Nistru, Prut, Raut; main lakes: Beleu, Bic, Dracele)
Population: 4,264,300 inh. (126,2 inh./1 sq. Km)
Land boundaries:
total: 1,389 km
border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 939 km Coastline: 200 m at the south extreme point (Giurgiulesti) with the delta of the Danube river
Extreme points:
lowest point: Nistru River -2 m
highest point: Dealul Balanesti +430 m
north point: Naslavcea
south point: Giurgiulesti
west point: Criva
east point: Palanca
Main cities: Chisinau, Balti, Tighina (Bender), Tiraspol
Climate: moderate winters (in January -4 -7 oC), warm summers (in July +25 +28 oC)
Terrain: Hilly steppes in the north & center (Codru), plain in the south (Bugeac Plain)
Natural resources: lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 53%
permanent crops: 14%
permanent pastures: 13%
forests and woodland: 9%
others: 11%
Soils: chernozemic (black soil), podzolic (forester soil)
Flora: 2300 species of wild plants (oak, beech, maple, linden)
Fauna: 68 species of mammals (fox, roe buck, deer, wild boar), 270 species of birds and more than 10 thousand species of invertebrates

Capital
CHISINAU-THE CAPITAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
Geographic position: latitude 47021  North and longitude 280501 East.
Chisinau is a significant administrative, political, economic, scientific, cultural and touristic centre of the Republic of Moldova. The first historic record of the name Chisinau goes back to July 17 1436. The name derives from a word meaning "spring, pump, pipe".
The city is located on seven hills and stretches over 120 km2. The population of Chisinau is over 752 thousand. Chisinau is crossed by two rivers - the Bic and Isnovat. The climate is moderate continental. The City is divided into 5 sectors: Centre, Buiucani, Botanica, Riscani and Ciocana. The Greater Chisinau area comprises 18 territorial administrative areas: 1 municipality, 6 towns, 8 communities and 3 villages. The local administrative state body is the City Hall of Chisinau.
Annual City celebration:14th of October.

Climate
The Republic of Moldova is located in a zone with a temperate continental climate approximately half way between the Equator and North Pole. The four seasons of the year are clearly defined, winter being warm, and summer long, with a lot of sunny days.   The general movement of the atmospheric air mass is mostly from the Northwest Atlantic or Southwest.The mean temperature of the air from North to South ranges between +7.5 0C and +10 0C.   The temperature of the soil ranges between +10 0C and +12 0C. There are 2060-2360 hours of sunshine per year in Moldova; temperatures above freezing are registered 160-200 days per year; and precipitation ranges between 370 and 560 mm/year and more than 10% falls as snow, which can melt several times during winter.

The Winter in Moldova is moderate, with a mean temperature in January of -5 to -3 0C. Some days it can fall to -15 to -20 0C, and during an intrusion of the arctic air mass even to -35 0C. The spring is not stable, as the number of sunny days and the mean air temperature is rising. In May the temperature is around +15 0C, decreasing the risk of late frosts.

The summer is hot and long, with the long periods of drought. The mean temperature in July is +19.5  to +22 0C, but sometimes can reach +35 to +40 0C. The summer rains are in most cases heavy and of short duration, sometimes causing local flooding.

The autumn is warm and long too, a so-called "Indian summer". In November the mean temperature falls to +5 to +3 0C and may bring the first snowfalls and frPopulation
The Republic of Moldova has a population of 3570,10 thousand and is one of the most densely populated European countries.

Moldova is populated by different ethnic groups. A breakdown of major ethnic groups is as follows: Moldovans - 64,5%, Ukrainians - 13,8 %, Russians - 13 %, others (Gagauzians, Bulgarians, Jews, Byelorussians, Germans, etc.).

A high ratio of the population lives in the rural area. The urban population represents 45 %. The major cities of Moldova include the capital city, Chisinau (over 755140 people); Balti (127603); Cahul (119 131); Hincesti (119569); Orhei (115828); Soroca (100490); Ungheni(110674); U.T.A. Gagauzia (155711). 

Population
The Republic of Moldova has a population of 3570,10 thousand and is one of the most densely populated European countries.
Moldova is populated by different ethnic groups. A breakdown of major ethnic groups is as follows: Moldovans - 64,5%, Ukrainians - 13,8 %, Russians - 13 %, others (Gagauzians, Bulgarians, Jews, Byelorussians, Germans, etc.).
A high ratio of the population lives in the rural area. The urban population represents 45 %. The major cities of Moldova include the capital city, Chisinau (over 755140 people); Balti (127603); Cahul (119 131); Hincesti (119569); Orhei (115828); Soroca (100490); Ungheni(110674); U.T.A. Gagauzia (155711).

Languages
According to the constitution of the Republic of Moldova, the state language in Moldova is Moldavian, functioning on the Latin alphabet basis. As a state language, it is used in all political, economic, social and cultural domains, and is the inter-ethnic language of communication in Moldova.
The state language acts as the working language in the activity of all state bodies, state administration and public authorities. The translation into Russian is assured.
Russian along with Moldavian is used as a communication language among different nations.
In order to meet the national-cultural needs of ethnic groups inhabiting the territory of Moldova, the functioning of other languages, such as Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, Jewish, Gypsy, etc. is guaranteed.
The most frequent spoken foreign languages are English, French, German and Italian.

Food and Drink
Moldova is rich in fertile soil and in hardworking and caring people. Nature is very generous in Moldova, offering plentiful grapes, fruits, vegetables, meat and milk products and cereals, all of which have found their uses in our national food. The fertile soil and the traditional agricultural methods make possible the cultivation of a diverse range of ecologically pure raw materials.

Moldovan cuisine has had a great influence on the traditional food of the other nationalities that live on this territory. At the same time some elements have been incorporated from Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Gagauzian and Russian cuisine, as well as elements taken some centuries ago from Greek and Turkish food.

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.

Meat cooked for the first and the second course has a special place in the Moldovan food. The most common are chicken soup, goulash, roast meat, grilled minced meat rolls, etc. A lot of meat courses are grilled over charcoal. But before the grilling procedure the meat is properly picked.
There is not a holiday without cabbage rolls, meat jelly, noodles, etc. The traditional table is not complete without biscuits, pies, cake dipped in syrup and fruit.

In different parts of Moldova there are local cuisines. In the East the Ukrainians prefer borsch, in the south the Bulgarians can offer a delicious chicken sauce - mangea, and the Gagauzians may serve you sorpa - a spicy ram soup, and the Russians will offer you their traditional pelmeni - a kind of roll stuffed with meat.

The Moldovan cuisine is served with a variety of traditional drinks: stewed fruits, juices, as well as alcoholic drinks like: wine, brandy, "tuica" - plum brandy, etc.

Wine growing in Moldova is a century-old tradition. 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. For wine producing European vines are used such as: Sauvignon, Cabernet, Muscat, etc., as well as Moldovan varieties: Feteasca, Black Rara, Moldova, etc.

Strong drinks such as plum brandy, are produced using traditional methods.

Wine tastings are offered in most Moldovan cellars.

 

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