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The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia - for centuries under the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire - secured their autonomy in 1856; they were de facto linked in 1859 and formally united in 1862 under the new name of Romania. The country gained recognition of its independence in 1878. It joined the Allied Powers in World War I and acquired new territories - most notably Transylvania - following the conflict. In 1940, Romania allied with the Axis powers and participated in the 1941 German invasion of the USSR. Three years later, overrun by the Soviets, Romania signed an armistice. The post-war Soviet occupation led to the formation of a Communist "people's republic" in 1947 and the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule of dictator Nicolae CEAUSESCU, who took power in 1965, and his Securitate police state became increasingly oppressive and draconian through the 1980s. CEAUSESCU was overthrown and executed in late 1989. Former Communists dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power. Romania joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.


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Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine

Geographic coordinates
46 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references

Area World Ranking: 83
Total 238,391 sq km
Land 229,891 sq km
Water 8,500 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries
Total 2,508 km
Border countries
Bulgaria 608 km, Hungary 443 km, Moldova 450 km, Serbia 476 km, Ukraine (north) 362 km, Ukraine (east) 169 km

225 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 12 nm
Contiguous zone 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone 200 nm
Continental shelf
200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Temperate; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms

Central Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Moldavian Plateau on the east by the Eastern Carpathian Mountains and separated from the Walachian Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Black Sea 0 m
Highest point Moldoveanu 2,544 m

Natural resources
Petroleum (reserves declining), timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt, arable land, hydropower

Land use
Arable land 39.49%
Permanent crops 1.92%
Other 58.59% (2005)

Irrigated land
31,570 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
42.3 cu km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 6.5 cu km/yr (9%/34%/57%)
Per capita 299 cu m/yr (2003)

Natural hazards
Earthquakes, most severe in south and southwest; geologic structure and climate promote landslides

Environment - current issues
Soil erosion and degradation; water pollution; air pollution in south from industrial effluents; contamination of Danube delta wetlands

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

Geography - note
Controls most easily traversable land route between the Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine


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  Romania (Bucharest):

  GPS points from Romania (Bucharest)

Palass-mare Judetul Constanta

Mareesti Judetul Bihor

Cerbu Judetul Bacau

Comuna Bratovoiesti Judetul Dolj

Dinceni Judetul Vaslui

Naruja Judetul Vrancea

Ostrovul Mocanu Romania (general)

Poian Judetul Covasna
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