Moldova is a country lying in the north eastern corner of the Balkan region of Europe.
Its capital city is Chișinău, located in the south of the country.
The Capital, Chisinau
Formerly known as Bessarabia, this region was an integral part of the Romanian principality of Moldavia until 1812, when it was ceded to Russia by the sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Bessarabia remained a province of the Russian Empire until after World War I, when it became a part of Greater Romania, and it reverted to Russian control in 1940–41 and again after World War II.
It was then joined to a strip of formerly Ukrainian territory, the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, on the left bank of the Dniester River to form the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union in August 1991, this republic declared its independence and took the name Moldova. It became a member of the United Nations in 1992.
Since its independence in 1991, Moldova has been beset with an array of challenges stemming from four problematic situations. First, the country has sought to establish a viable state where no tradition of self-government and sovereignty had existed before.
Second, without a local political tradition, it was difficult to agree on a constitution and to find political leaders untainted by association with the highly centralised, authoritarian Soviet Union.
Third, the transition from a controlled economy to a free market economy has been rocky. A largely agricultural economy based on state and collective farms had been developed under Soviet rule. When many of these farms were broken up and turned over to individuals after independence, considerable dislocation, loss of productivity, and allegations of corruption resulted.
Finally, the economic transition was further impeded by the fact that much of Moldovan industry was located in the separatist region of Transnistria, which had proclaimed independence in 1990, resulting in a brief civil war. Although a cease-fire was declared in 1992, relations remained tense between Moldova and Transnistria, and Russian troops are still present in the security zone. Transnistria is also the source of much of the countries electricity, which has been cut off at various times. Thus, Moldova’s road to nationhood has remained bumpy—from the first efforts at nation-building to the country’s pursuit of peace and prosperity in the 21st century.