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MOLDOVA


 

 

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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 1,964 1,621 1,500 141
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 590 460 400 157
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
33,843 

Population 
4,446,455

Principal 
ethnic groups 
Moldovans 64.5%
Ukrainians 13.8%
Russians 13.0%

Capital 
Kishinev 
(Chisinau)

Currency
Leu (plural: Lei)

President 
Vladimir Voronin


Update No: 299 - (28/11/05)

The geopolitical import of religion
Religion matters enormously in the former Soviet Union. Its persecution by the communists for obvious reasons in a totalitarian state, intolerant of anything other than its atheist creed had the effect of redoubling people's faith, hoping that God or Allah would rid them of their oppressor eventually.
In Moldova religion can still play an exceptionally important part by offering one possible means to counter-act its disunity and bind it together again. Recent attempts to resolve the bleeding wound of the Transnistria question by diplomacy have failed (see last issue on newnations.com). Maybe spiritual ones have a better chance, although secular sceptics may regard this as clutching at straws.

Russian Patriarch Alexy II arrives in Moldova 
The visit of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church is, therefore, no small event. He arrived in the capital of Moldova on November 11th. Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, Parliament Speaker Marian Lupu, Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev, and Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and all Moldova met Alexy II at the airport. 
During his two-day visit, the Russian patriarch met with President Voronin and other state and government officials. 
On the November 13th, Alexy II and Metropolitan Vladimir conducted a divine service that attended by the country's leadership. 
This was the patriarch's second visit to Chisinau. He made his first visit to Moldova in 1990. 

Government to promote Orthodox faith in Moldova
Moldova will make all possible efforts to strengthen the influence of the Orthodox Church on its soil, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin said on the November 13th visit. 
"We cannot build our common home [the Republic of Moldova] without faith," Voronin said. "We appreciate your efforts aimed at the country's spiritual rebirth," the Patriarch said. "We appreciate the efforts of Vladimir Voronin to rebuild Moldova spiritually by restoring sacred places that had been destroyed in the past," the Patriarch said. 
Alexiy II awarded Voronin with the 1st degree Order of Blessed Prince Dmitry Donskoy. 

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It may be thought blasphemy to descend to more mundane matters. But, as the following article shows, Moldova is not only divided on regional grounds. Deep dissensions exist in the capital city itself.

Moldovan opposition accused the president of fraud at Kishinev mayor election
Every national leader likes to have control over the mayoralty of his (or her) own capital city. It is not just being politically correct to mention gender here, for it was Margaret Thatcher, with her radical instincts to the fore, who in the mid-1980s, confronted by Ken Livingstone in the mayor's office across the Thames from the Houses of Parliament conducting an even more radical policy than hers anent a populist brand of socialism, who simply abolished his office. It has since been re-constituted, with Ken Livingstone back in place, irking another prime minister, Tony Blair; while she has bitten the dust long ago. Such are the vagaries of politics.
Chirac, himself a former mayor of Paris, is another case in point; he cannot abide its present socialist mayor.
In Moldova the opposition alliance "Moldova Noastra" ("Our Moldova") has accused Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin of the "consistent negligence of international standards for free elections." The alliance believes that "after Voronin lost the battle for the mayoralty of the capital four times in a row (two rounds of the elections in 2003 and two rounds in 2005), he was convinced that his party could not win the trust of Kishinev voters in a transparent and fair election runoff. So he 'borrowed' another party's candidate (acting Mayor Vassily Ursu, member of the alliance, who runs as an independent candidate) and tried to gain control over the capital by authoritarian means." 
A recent visit of Voronin to the office of the Kishinev Mayor, after the start of the election campaign in the capital, shows, as the members of the alliance led by the former mayor of Kishinev Serafim Urekyan opine, that "the national authorities recurrently interfere with the electoral process, which is unlawful." 
The president of Moldova did so with "the early elections in Gagauzia and the local elections in 2003, as well as with the pre-term elections in the summer of 2005," a statement released by the alliance says, reports a REGNUM correspondent. 
"Voronin puts his position as the Communist Party Leader above the position of being the head of the state. But, to maintain equal treatment of the candidates during the election campaign, he should have abandoned the practice of manipulating the electorate in favour of any one candidate," the statement says. 

Moldova not menaced by energy crisis this winter - says Voronin
Voronin has said that no energy crisis will threaten Moldova this winter, even though power supplies from the Cuciurgan Power Station have ceased and the Russian natural gas suppliers intend to increase prices. The head of state says that both decisions are of a political nature, but it looks as though the Russians have backed off their earlier threat - to which we drew attention in our November Update, to cut off Gazprom supplies altogether this coming winter.
We will continue to monitor the situation. 
In an interview broadcast by PRO TV Chisinau channel, the chief of state said that Moldova produces 30-35 per cent of the electric power it consumes. About 70 per cent of the necessary electricity will be imported from the nuclear power stations of Ukraine, and Romania will provide electric power for the settlements from the south of the country, which are located near the high tension lines through which the neighbouring state transports electric power. 

Russian gas price should be cut, Moldovan PM says 
Moldova will insist on cutting the current price for Russian gas, the country's Prime Minister Vasily Tarlev told journalists in Chisinau. Two years ago the Moldovan government and Gazprom agreed that the price would be decreased in the event that the republic began to make 100% payments for gas. 
Tarlev underscored that Moldova had paid for the gas it consumed in full for the second year in a row. He also reiterated that the republic had bought Russian gas for US$80 per 1,000 cubic meters since 1996. Up to now, this has been the highest tariff in the CIS. The country's government and Gazprom are now holding consultations on the 2006 gas contract in Moscow, the premier added. 

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BANKING

World Bank in Moldova launches 2006 Small Grants Programme 

The World Bank office in Moldova launched the Small Grants Programme for 2006 recently, New Europe reported. 
It is entitled "Social Partnership for Development". Slavian Gutu, official in the World Bank office in Moldova, said that the projects and activities that form part of the project will strengthen the partnership with the public sector, with other organizations of the civil society and with the private sector, thus influencing and fortifying the mechanisms of participation, responsibility and inclusion. The grants envisaged for 2006 are intended for Moldovan NGOs that work in different fields of activity. The value of the grants will range between US$2,000 and 7,000. The 2006 Small Grants Programme will finance activities related to the reinforcement of the role and capacities of the disadvantaged social groups so that they come to know better the development processes and improve their own situation.

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ENERGY

Ukraine willing to deliver electric power to Moldova 

Ukraine has a high electric power potential and can increase export of electric power to Moldova, head of the Ukrainian Foreign Information Service, Nicolae Malomuj, stated at the summit of GUAM Security Council secretaries on November 4, Economie Moldova reported. 
According to Malomuj, Ukrainian experts are working out a project regarding the establishment of an electric power bridge between Ukraine and Moldova. "I have tackled this issue with Moldovan President, Vladimir Voronin, and Prime Minister, Vasile Tarlev, and we have agreed on holding negotiations at the level of groups of experts. In my opinion this is a wonderful project," Malomuj said. The contract for the supply of power by the Cuciurgan Power Plant that is located on the left bank of the Dniester expired on October 31. The administration of the power plant warns it will stop the deliveries if Moldova does not accept the 30 per cent increase in the tariff for electric power. The Cuciurgan Power Plant supplies power to the power distribution networks Chisinau, Centre and South that form part of Union Fenosa Group - the main power supplier in Moldova.

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