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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
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)

Books on Moldova


Area ( 


ethnic groups 
Moldovans 64.5%
Ukrainians 13.8%
Russians 13.0%


Leu (plural: Lei)

Vladimir Voronin

Update No: 300 - (01/01/06)

The true champion of his country
When the incumbent president of the Republic of Moldova, Vladimir Voronin, was re-elected for a second term by the country's parliament in March, 2005, 75 parliamentarians supported Voronin's candidacy, while only one voted for the opposition candidate Georgy Duka. An election on March 6th saw the return of the ruling Communist Party of Moldova, which Voronin heads.
The 63-year-old leader of the Communist Party of Moldova was first elected president in April 2001. He is a truly popular figure, who is standing up for his country against Russia and is trying unavailingly to get back Transnistria, the mainly Russian-populated enclave between Moldova and Ukraine on the left bank of the Dnestr River. It is symbolically appropriate that it should be on the left bank, as it is a leftist left-over from the USSR, ruled by a Stalinist thug and master-criminal, who glories in the name of Igor Smirnov. The enclave survives on smuggling and is a refuge for Russian mafiosi.
Moscow is insisting on keeping thousands of troops there, which could be quickly reinforced if need be. The Moldovans know this and are averse to using force, anyway, having suffered enough in the 1992 war over the issue. 

Electoral prospects
A breakthrough of sorts came at the end of October when, acting on an initiative of Ukraine's, Moldova and Transnistria agreed to resume talks about the enclave holding fair elections. In December it held elections without foreign observers, since its independence has no international recognition anywhere and only exists as a de facto satellite of Russia which does not diplomatically 'recognise' it however. 
The new idea is to hold elections later under the scrutiny of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), whose Moldova director, William Hill, welcomed the proposal. 

Wintry days ahead 
One of the consequences of the spat with Russia is that Moscow made it clear just before the March election, that as of 2006 Moldova would have to pay double the present price for its gas supplies, US$70 per 1,000 cu m. It is reliant on Russia for 5m cu m per year. There is no obvious alternative.
The poor Moldovans, poor in every sense (Moldova has taken over from Albania the dubious distinction of being the poorest country in Europe), are going to be having a rough time of it this winter.
The Russian decision was coupled with a ban on Moldovan spirits and tobacco, a free present to the Transnistria smugglers. It coincided with a lifting of travel-free visas for the one million Moldovans living in Russia. This crude attempt at arm-twisting back-fired at the polls. As we have seen, Voronin was re-elected handsomely by the parliament, itself still with the Communist Party in charge. 

Moldova not menaced by energy crisis this winter - says Voronin
Voronin asserts 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. 
In an interview broadcast by PRO TV Chisinau channel, the chief of state mentioned 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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Moldova starts exporting oil products 

Moldova has begun exporting domestically-produced oil-derived products for the first time, the country's ministry of industry and infrastructure said recently, Ria Novosti has reported. 
According to the ministry, 250 metric tonnes of the M-40 fuel oil and 70 tonnes of industrial oil produced at the AS Petrol Moldova refinery by the REDECO-Moldova company have been exported to Bulgaria. AS Petrol Moldova opened half a year ago and is the country's only refinery. Its current annual capacity is 30,000 tonnes of oil-derived products, which will be increased to 150,000 tonnes. These oil products were produced at the AS-Petrol-owned oil refinery in Komrat, the first oil refinery in Moldova, noted RBC news service. AS Petrol managers said the oil products had not been sold in Moldova because there was no demand for them on the domestic market at the time. The Komrat oil refinery, with a capacity of 25,000 tonnes of oil a year, was able to fully satisfy Moldova's need for fuel oil, AS Petrol officials said.

Romania considers electricity for Moldova power crisis

A senior Romanian official said recently that his government was considering sending assistance to Moldova to head off a simmering electricity crisis. The announcement, made by Romanian Economics Minister, Codrut Ceres at a Chisinau press conference, came less than a week after a Russian company controlling Moldova's only power generation station cut off electricity deliveries to the former Soviet republic, New Europe reported.
The switch-off was justified by Moscow-headquartered RAO EES as the only alternative to producing power at a loss. The decision has threatened to leave all Moldova without electricity. "Romania is participating in talks about delivering electricity to Moldova," Ceres said. "Nothing has been decided yet, and no contracts have been signed… but Romania is prepared to send electricity to prevent a crisis." A deal whereby Moldova traded natural gas to Romania for electricity was under active discussion, he said. Moldova is in debt to the Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, but deliveries continue. Moldova might also cover its electricity needs by paying cash for power produced in Romania or in neighbouring Ukraine, Ceres said.

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World Bank grants Moldova almost US$10m

The International Development Association (IDA) that belongs to the WB Group is set to allot a cheap loan and a government grant worth US$4.9m each to Moldova to finance a project aimed at enhancing the republic's competitive edge, RBC reported.
A source in the Moldovan government said that the loan and the grant were stipulated by the credit agreement signed by IDA and Moldovan government representatives in Washington on November 14th 2005. The loan is to be provided for a term of 40 years with a ten-year grace period and an annual interest rate of 0.35 per cent.

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