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Moldova Information - Page 2
History
Present-day Moldova was formerly part of Romania.

For three hundred years (from the sixteenth century) the principality of Moldavia and its neighbours lived under Ottoman suzerainty. Following Turkish and Russian wars much of "Moldova" passed to Russian control.

From the nineteenth century until the end of the Second World War the historical principality of Moldavia went through a number of boundary changes; sometimes it was within the borders of Romania and other times it was partly within the borders of Russian Ukraine.

In 1924 the USSR created an Autonomous Moldovan Republic on the east of the Dniester River as part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

At the end of the Second World War (1939-1945) the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova was established. (The following countries in Europe were members of the former USSR along with Russia: Belarus, Estonia (from WW2), Latvia (from WW2), Lithuania (from WW2), Moldova (from WW2) and Ukraine; member countries from Asia were: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).

Following the Second World War, a "Cold War" existed between the USSR and the West. This situation continued until Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985 introducing extensive political and economic reforms (Perestroika) and calling for a greater openness (Glasnost) between nations.

At the end of 1991 the USSR was dissolved and Moldova became independent. However Moldova's Gagauz and Transnistria regions declared independence resulting in two ethnic conflicts and a civil war (Trans-Dniester 1992). Gagauz became an autonomous region of Moldova; Transnistria was given greater autonomy but Russian forces remained in the region.

Economy
Economic reforms were undertaken by the Republic although implementation proved slow.

Agriculture is an important sector employing a significant percentage of the labour force. Agricultural products are grains, vegetables, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, apples, apricots, cherries, grapes, peaches, dairy products and tobacco. Livestock is reared.

Industry has overtaken agriculture in the percentage contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Industries include agricultural machinery, foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, textiles, footwear, wood processing, food processing and beverages.

The services sector provides the largest percentage of the country's GDP. Many people work abroad and remittances sent home are very important to the economy. The tourist industry would like to develop international tourism. (2008)

Arts
Throughout Moldova there are many writers, musicians and artists. Crafts in Moldova include pottery, wood carving, carpet making, embroidery and the production of musical instruments. The stonemasons of Cosauti Village near Soroca are known for their decorative craft that can be seen in the village.

Cultural institutions include the National Theatre "Mihai Eminescu", the AP Chekhov Russian Drama Theatre, the National Opera House, the National Chamber Orchestra of Moldova and the Fluerash Orchestra of National Music. There is also the Doina Choir (folklore) and the Zhok National Dance Ensemble.

Sport
The National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Moldova is responsible for organising Olympic sports in Moldova. Moldova has won medals for shooting and boxing.

Football is a popular team game. Other sports in Moldova include basketball, tennis, martial arts, trinta (national wrestling) and Formula 1.

Holidays
Religious holidays such as the Orthodox Christmas and Easter are celebrated. Other holidays are New Year (1 January), International Women's Day (8 March), Labour Day(1 May), Victory Day (9 May), Independence Day (27 August) and National Language Day (31 August).

News
News is available from Newslink.

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