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Part of Romania during the interwar period, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although the country has been independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting a Transnistrian separatist region with a Slavic majority population of mostly Ukrainians and Russians. One of the poorest nations in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist, Vladimir VORONIN, as its president in 2001. VORONIN served as Moldova's president until he resigned in September 2009, following the opposition's gain of a narrow majority in July parliamentary elections and the Communist Party's (PCRM) subsequent inability to attract the three-fifths of parliamentary votes required to elect a president. Moldova's four opposition parties formed a new coalition, the Alliance for European Integration (AEI), which has acted as Moldova's governing coalition since. Moldova experienced significant political uncertainty between 2009 and early 2012, holding three general elections and numerous presidential ballots in parliament, all of which failed to secure a president. Following November 2010 parliamentary elections, a reconstituted AEI-coalition consisting of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Liberal Party, and the Democratic Party formed a government, and in March 2012 were finally able to elect an independent as president.


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Geography

Location
Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania

Geographic coordinates
47 00 N, 29 00 E

Map references
Europe

Area World Ranking: 140
Total 33,851 sq km
Land 32,891 sq km
Water 960 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly larger than Maryland

Land boundaries
Total 1,390 km
Border countries Romania 450 km, Ukraine 940 km

Coastline
0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims
None (landlocked)

Climate
Moderate winters, warm summers

Terrain
Rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Dniester (Nistru) 2 m
Highest point Dealul Balanesti 430 m

Natural resources
Lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone

Land use
Arable land 54.52%
Permanent crops 8.81%
Other 36.67% (2005)

Irrigated land
2,283 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
11.7 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 2.31 cu km/yr (10%/58%/33%)
Per capita 549 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
Landslides

Environment - current issues
Heavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from poor farming methods

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified
None of the selected agreements

Geography - note
Landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone


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  Moldova (Chisinau):


  GPS points from Moldova (Chisinau)

Cornesti Hincesti

Staryy Gechu Singerei

Tigheci Leova

Step-soci Orhei

Dushman' Glodeni

Frunzeshty Floresti

Braykeu Donduseni

Verezheny Ocnita




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