Moldova (officially the Republic of Moldova (Romanian: Republica Moldova)), is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south (by way of the disputed territory of Transnistria). The capital city is Chișinău.

Most of the Moldovan territory was a part of the Principality of Moldavia from the 14th century until 1812, when it was ceded to the Russian Empire by the Ottoman Empire (to which Moldavia was a vassal state) and became known as Bessarabia. In 1856, southern Bessarabia was returned to Moldavia, which three years later united with Wallachia to form Romania, but Russian rule was restored over the whole of the region in 1878. During the 1917 Russian Revolution, Bessarabia briefly became an autonomous and then independent Moldavian Democratic Republic until it was integrated into Romania in 1918 following a vote of its assembly. The decision was disputed by Soviet Russia, which, in 1924, allowed the establishment, within the Ukrainian SSR, of a Moldavian autonomous republic (MASSR) on partial Moldovan-inhabited territories to the east of the Dniester. In 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia to the Soviet Union, leading to the creation of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavian SSR), which included the greater part of Bessarabia and the westernmost strip of the former MASSR.

On 27 August 1991, as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Moldavian SSR declared independence and took the name Moldova. The current Constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994. The strip of the Moldovan territory on the east bank of the Dniester river has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990.

Due to a decrease in industrial and agricultural output following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the service sector has grown to dominate Moldova's economy and currently composes over 60% of the nation's GDP. Its economy is the poorest in Europe in per capita terms. Moldova is also the least visited country in Europe by tourists with only 11,000 annually recorded visitors from abroad.

Moldova is a parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. It is a member state of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and aspires to join the European Union.

Moldovan politics are characterised by Unionism, a movement to join with the neighbouring republic of Romania, which launched during the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the 20th century. Unionists became more active under the slogan "One Language - One People!" Two central Moldovan newspapers have started publishing with the epigraph "Suntem români şi punctum!" "We are Romanians – full stop!" On the title page, which is a statement by the Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu.

Unionism and a new law "On the state language", which recognised Moldovan as the only state language (despite the fact that the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Moldova, 1991, refers to Romanian as the state language), have led to an emergence of centrifugal tendencies in Transnistria. The predominantly Russian population of the left-bank Moldova saw this as a threat to their identity and the foundations of interethnic relations that existed in the USSR for decades. As a result, a conflict arose in the republic that developed into an armed clash that was only suppressed after an intervention of a group of Russian armed forces stationed in Transnistria. As a result, the left bank of the Dniester actually separated, proclaiming independence in 1992.

This was one of the first inter-ethnic conflicts in the post-Soviet space, which ended in the split of the country. After that, interethnic tensions went down. The adopted law "On state language" proclaimed Moldavian the only state language. At the same time, it guaranteed the use of Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Roma languages, and languages of other ethnic groups residing on the territory of the Republic, to meet the national and cultural needs of national minorities. Special guarantees were provided to the Russian language, it received the status of a language of interethnic communication, which ensures the implementation of real bilingualism in the country.

However, interethnic tensions have not disappeared completely. They moved to the political sphere and concentrated on the theme of unionism. The society was divided into supporters and opponents of unionism. The former deny the existence of Moldovan language, considering it a Romanian dialect and referring to the Declaration of Independence of 1991; they advocate reunification with Romania (until 1940, Moldova was part of the Romanian Kingdom). The latter oppose reunification with Romania and recognise Moldovan language in accordance with the Constitution of the country. The first group includes, as a rule, representatives of the liberal right-wing, positioning themselves as Romanian-speaking residents. The second group includes mostly Russian-speaking voters, who traditionally vote for leftist parties.

This has turned into one of the most serious issues for modern Moldova. Unionists argue that this is the easiest way into the European Union. Their opponents consider this path to be detrimental to the country and unconstitutional. Unionists are fewer in numbers and among the political elite of Moldova, unionists still do not seek to part with their independence, even for the benefit of unification with Romania.

On the other hand, Moldova does not lack other problems in the field of minority rights. Although in recent years physical violence has practically ceased to exist on racial, religious or other grounds, there is still a high level of vandalism, leaving much to be desired for anti-fascists, as well as for LGBT people.

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