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MOLDOVA


 

 

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: 306 - (29/06/06)

The Kremlin turns nasty
Moldova is receiving the usual Russian bully-boy treatment at the moment. This is in retaliation for the selective ban on trade with Transnistria.
Moscow is taking very hostile measures against Moldova, charging it full world prices for gas, while banning Moldovan wine imports, formerly its economic mainstay.
The vintners and workers in the wine industry are contemplating moves to impeach President Vladimir Voronin, who is deemed to have been largely responsible for the deterioration in relations. But most Moldovans back his stand on Transnistria, the secessionist region, which is a notorious haven for gangsters and smugglers

Georgian, Moldovan Breakaway Provinces Pledge Cooperation
The separatist leaders of Georgia's breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Moldova's Transnistria have vowed to support each other's independence aspirations. All three are creatures of Moscow.
In a joint declaration at the end of a two-day meeting in mid-June in the Abkhaz capital of Sukhum (Sukhumi), Abkhazia's Sergei Bagapsh, South Ossetia's Eduard Kokoity, and Transnistria's Igor Smirnov said peoples' right to self-determination is universal and should not be upheld selectively, RFE/RL reported. 
In an apparent reference to the May referendum in which Montenegro voted to break away from a union with Serbia, Bagapsh told RFE/RL on June 13 that the international community should not apply double standards when it comes to self-determination. "I think that in an international legal sense, Abkhazia and all the republics that are represented here have a much stronger case for international recognition," he said. "There's just one thing I don't understand - the double standard, when somebody is allowed [to choose independence] and somebody is not. Take a look at our history and it will be clear that [independence] is a completely feasible thing." 
They also called for the continued deployment of Russian troops on their territory. They said stability in the regions depends on the presence of Russian-led peacekeepers.
The three internationally unrecognized regions broke away from Georgia and Moldova in civil wars after the 1991 Soviet collapse. All three maintain close ties with Russia.

Russian wine ban has dealt a blow to Moldova's economy - PM 
The Russian ban on Moldovan alcoholic drinks has dealt a blow to the country's economy, Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev said recently. Russia placed an embargo on wine and other alcoholic drinks from Moldova and Georgia on March 27. 
Speaking at a news conference in the Moldovan capital with Johan Mathisen, Intentional Monetary Fund Resident Representative in the Republic of Moldova, Tarlev said: "The embargo is having a negative influence on the economy, but we are taking measures to reduce this effect, including cooperation with international organizations, including the IMF." 
Tarlev, who did not specify the losses his country has sustained from the ban, said Moldova needed to diversify its export market. 
"We have come to conclusions that were unfortunately not made when the complex situation arose in 1998 at the time of the [Russian] default," he said. "Having moved on from this crisis, Moldova will become economically more stable, and will not depend on any one consumer country." 

Romanian EU entry threatens Moldova trade
Suspension of the free trade agreement between Moldova and Romania on January 1, 2007, when Romania is expected to join the European Union (E.U.), will destabilise the trade balance between the two states, according to Mircea Toader, undersecretary of the Romanian Ministry of Economy and Commerce. 
The foreign trade between Romania and Moldova totalled 412 million dollars in 2005, with a negative balance of 240 million dollars for Moldova. Exports to Romania turned over 85 million dollars last year, while imports accounted for 326 million dollars, according to Romanian statistics. 
"The situation could change after January 1, 2007, as the Romanian exports will be taxed in the same measure as other E.U. member states, while Moldova benefits from the GSP plus system which allows the exportation of about 7,200 types of products to the E.U. without paying customs duties," Toader stated to BASA. 
The official estimated that the new trade regime "will affect the bilateral trade for a while until the situation normalises and companies get used to the new taxation system." 
On the other hand, the Romanian official estimated that Moldovan small companies will be encouraged to cooperate with Romanian enterprises by "taking into account the territorial proximity, the same spoken language and other advantages in this regard." 
Once Romania joins the E.U. on January 1, 2007, Bucharest will withdraw from all free trade agreements, including with Moldova. Romania's entry in E.U. will mean the entry into a new legal framework of foreign commercial relations. 
Besides the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), Romania has signed free trade agreements with Moldova, Turkey, Israel, Serbia-Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the European Free Trade Association. 
Chisinau says that the suspension of the free trade agreement with Romania will not affect the trade exchanges, being optimistic to obtain an asymmetrical trade regime with the E.U. in 2007.

Voronin cleaves to anti-corruption policy
Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin has stated the country leadership shall not tolerate inflation in the country, and shall be waging a war against corruption "irrespective of personalities." The head of state attended a joint working meeting of the Boards of the Information and Security Service (ISS) and the Centre for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption. Voronin highlighted the need to concentrate and coordinate the efforts of the two structures in the struggle against particularly grand corruption - among high-ranked state officials, employees at law-enforcement, judiciary, various controlling organs, etc. 
The President demanded from the ISS and the Centre to work out and implement measures to prevent and combat corruption in all spheres and at all levels of the public governance. He demanded to urgently consider the possibility to perfect the relevant legal frame to ensure possibilities to check those officials seeking sensitive appointments. He demanded that the legislation should make it mandatory for state officials to declare their incomes and expenditures even in case of their promotion or appointment to another position. 
Voronin demanded the creation within the Centre for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of a special structure for anti-corruption examination of bills being submitted to Parliament. He believes such a body should attract specialists from various state structures and the representatives of the Moldovan civil society. 
Touching on the efficiency of the anti-corruption struggle, Vladimir Voronin emphasized the need for an adequate analysis, generalization and regulation of the punitive practice. He insisted on an urgent amendment of the Constitution and relevant legislation, namely to introduce confiscation of personal property in such cases as corruption, terrorism, money laundering. 
He said it is necessary to put an end to the obsolete "and sometimes even funny" practice of excessive classifying of information. He believes that the time is ripe to improve and rationalize the Law on State Secrecy and the nomenclature list of information data attributed to the state secrecy category. 
The head of state stressed the vital need for attracting the population to corruption prevention.

                                           ******
The following is a no doubt partial assessment of Moldova's long-term political future by an insider:-
Moldovan politician: Vladimir Voronin wants to remain Moldova's last president
Taking into account the current situation in Moldova, the most fantastic scenarios are possible, the leader of Patria-Rodina Labor Union Georgy Sima has told a REGNUM correspondent in an interview on June 13. "Vladimir Voronin wants to remain Moldova's last president. So, on the threshold of the elections the Communist faction in the Moldovan Parliament can abolish the presidential position, fulfilling at least one of its promises," the politician said. 
Georgy Sima did not rule out that the elections could be held much earlier than in 2009, and right-wing political forces can come to replace the Communists. "It is hardly possible that this will be the Christian Democratic People's Party led by Yuri Rosca. Despite the fact that Yuri Rosca is one of the most experienced Moldovan politicians of the post-Soviet time, and the Christian Democratic People's Party is the oldest one with a branch network of its regional activists, the days of this political organization and its leader are counted. By publicly supporting the Communists, on fighting whom their previous ideology was grounded, the party automatically lost its right to further represent views of the section of the electorate that was traditionally anti-Communist, sympathized with the right-wing forces and supported them at the elections. The 'new right-wing' forces are much more interesting now. It was Serafim Urekian who finally brought his Our Moldova Alliance to the right camp. To all appearances, he plans to settle there down for the whole time of the party's life," the politician noted. 
Georgy Sima did not rule out another scenario: the third victory by the Communists. "Theoretically, the scenario of a third 'Red triumph' has a right to exist, but chances are narrow that it would be fulfilled. Facts have shown, that ratings of the Communist Party continue to decrease. Deriving from it, one can predict that the Moldovan Communists have passed their peak already. Yet, they still remain quite an influential political force to be represented again in the parliament of 2009. But, most probably, they will have not so many seats that could let them dominate in the power. So, they will have to look for political allies and, henceforth, compromise," Sima is quoted as saying.

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EXPORTS

Exports down 10% in January-April 


Moldovan exports dropped 10 per cent to US$313 million in January-April 2006, a source at the National Statistics Bureau said recently, Interfax News Agency reported.
It was the first decline in recent years, the source said. "The Russian embargo on Moldovan wine, which was announced in late March, caused the problem. Therefore, Moldovan deliveries to a major trade partner fell 31.2 per cent since the beginning of the year. In the past, Russia received 36.1 per cent of Moldova's total exports, and now the rate is 27.6 per cent," the source said. Moldovan exports to Commonwealth of Independent States member countries reduced by 13.4 per cent to US$152.5 million, while exports to EU member countries went down 0.4 per cent to US$94.2 million in January-April, the source said. Meanwhile, Moldovan imports grew 14 per cent to US$734.3 million. Some 42.1 per cent of commodities were imported from CIS member countries. Imports from the EU totalled US$216.8 million. 

 

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