A landlocked republic in eastern Europe; formerly a European Soviet; Also called: Moldavia.
Or Moldavia; Country in E central Europe, bounded N, S, and E by Ukraine, and W by Romania.
The 1993 constitution provides for a president and a 104-member national assembly, both elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term. The president appoints a prime minister from the assembly membership, and a council of ministers on the prime minister's advice.
Formerly a principality in Eastern Europe, occupying an area divided today between the republic of Moldova and modern Romania, the region was independent from the 14th to the 16th century, when it became part of the Ottoman Empire. Its eastern part, Bessarabia, was ruled by Russia 1812–1918, but then transferred to Romania. Romania was forced to cede Bessarabia June 1940 and it was joined with part of the Soviet-controlled Autonomous Moldavian Republic to form the Moldavian Socialist Republic Aug 1940.
Before and after World War II the republic was brutally “sovietized”. Collectivization in agriculture and seizure of private enterprises coincided with the infiltration of Russians and Ukrainians into the area. The republic witnessed significant urban and industrial growth from the 1950s. Glasnost brought a resurgence of Moldavian nationalism from the late 1980s, and there was pressure for language reform and reversion from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet. In 1988 a Moldavian Movement in Support of Perestroika was formed and a year later, in May 1989, the Moldavian Popular Front (MPF) was established. In Aug 1989 the MPF persuaded the republic’s government, led since July 1989 by the sympathetic communist president Mircea Snegur, to make Romanian the state language and reinstate the Latin script. This provoked demonstrations and strikes by the republic’s Russian speakers and led the Turkish-speaking Gagauz minority, concentrated in the southwest, to campaign for autonomy. In Nov 1989, after MPF radicals ha
d staged a gasoline bomb assault on the Interior Ministry headquarters in Chisinau, the Moldavian Communist Party’s (MCP) conservative leader, Semyon Grossu, was dismissed and replaced by the more conciliatory Pyotr Luchinsky.
In the wake of the Chisinau riots, a temporary state of emergency was imposed and a ban placed on public meetings. This restricted campaigning for the Feb 1990 supreme soviet elections, in which, nevertheless, the MPF polled strongly. The movement toward independence gathered momentum, and a “sovereignty” declaration was made June 1990. In Oct 1990, both the Trans-Dniester region (centered around Tiraspol) and the Gagauz-inhabited region in SW Moldova formed unofficial breakaway republics. Soon afterwards states of emergency were imposed in both areas.
a new state
In March 1991 the republic boycotted the USSR referendum on preservation of the Union. During the Aug 1991 attempted anti-Gorbachev coup in Moscow, which was denounced by President Snegur but supported by the Trans-Dniester and Gagauz-inhabited regions, there were large prodemocracy demonstrations in Chisinau. After the coup attempt failed, MCP activity was banned in workplaces and on 27 Aug 1991 the republic formally declared its independence. Immediate recognition was accorded by Romania. In Dec 1991 the republic joined the Commonwealth of Independent States and Snegur was directly elected president, unopposed. In March 1992 Moldova was admitted into the United Nations and US diplomatic recognition was granted.
Trans-Dniester and Gagauz conflict
Following pro-unification border rallies, the Moldavian and Romanian presidents met early 1992 to discuss the possibility of union. President Snegur favored a gradual approach toward unification. In March 1992 a state of emergency was re-imposed in Trans-Dniester region following an upsurge of fighting between Moldavian security forces and ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, fearful of the proposed merger. Between May and July hundreds died in the fighting, with Russian troops present in the republic accused of assisting the Slav separatists. A Russian peacekeeping force was later deployed in the troubled region, and cease-fires agreed there and in Gagauz.
Parliamentary elections Feb 1994 were won by the Agrarian Democratic Party (ADP). Andrei Sangheli became premier. In a March referendum, voters rejected demands for a merger with Romania and prospects of reunification receded, with Moldova dependent on Russia for its fuel supplies and fearful that such a move might provoke a full-scale civil war. Cease-fires remained effective in both Trans-Dniester and Gagauz regions and relations with Moscow had improved by mid-1994. Inflation stood at 1,500% per annum. A new constitution was adopted July 1994.
1. Država u istočnoj Evropi, ranije jedna od sovjetskih republika, graniči se sa Ukrajinom i Rumunijom na zapadu.
2. Oblast u istočnoj Evropi, uz reku Dunav, danas delom pripada Rumuniji.