Photos of Moldova

Introduction

Background

A large portion of present day Moldovan territory became a province of the Russian Empire in 1812 and then unified with Romania in 1918 in the aftermath of World War I. This territory was then incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although Moldova has been independent from the Soviet Union since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Nistru River in the breakaway region of Transnistria, whose population is roughly equally composed of ethnic Ukrainians, Russians, and Moldovans.

Years of Communist Party rule in Moldova from 2001-2009 ultimately ended with election-related violent protests and a rerun of parliamentary elections in 2009. Since then, a series of pro-European ruling coalitions have governed Moldova. As a result of the country's most recent legislative election in February 2019, parliamentary seats are split among the left-leaning Socialist Party (35 seats), the former ruling Democratic Party (30 seats), and the center-right ACUM bloc (26 seats). Parliament voted in Prime Minister Ion CHICU and his cabinet on 14 November 2019, two days after voting to remove his predecessor, ACUM co-leader Maia SANDU, who had been in office since June 2019.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania

Geographic coordinates

47 00 N, 29 00 E

Area

total: 33,851 sq km

land: 32,891 sq km

water: 960 sq km

country comparison to the world: 139

Land boundaries

total: 1,885 km

border countries (2): Romania 683 km, Ukraine 1202 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

moderate winters, warm summers

Terrain

rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea

Elevation

mean elevation: 139 m

lowest point: Dniester (Nistru) 2 m

highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m

Natural resources

lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, limestone, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 74.9% (2011 est.)

arable land: 55.1% (2011 est.)

permanent crops: 9.1% (2011 est.)

permanent pasture: 10.7% (2011 est.)

forest: 11.9% (2011 est.)

other: 13.2% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

2,283 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

pockets of agglomeration exist throughout the country, the largest being in the center of the country around the capital of Chisinau, followed by Tiraspol and Balti

Natural hazards

landslides

Environment - current issues

heavy use of agricultural chemicals, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion and declining soil fertility from poor farming methods

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Moldovan(s)

adjective: Moldovan

Ethnic groups

Moldovan 75.1%, Romanian 7%, Ukrainian 6.6%, Gagauz 4.6%, Russian 4.1%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 0.8% (2014 est.)

Languages

Moldovan/Romanian 80.2% (official) (56.7% identify their mother tongue as Moldovan, which is virtually the same as Romanian; 23.5% identify Romanian as their mother tongue), Russian 9.7%, Gagauz 4.2% (a Turkish language), Ukrainian 3.9%, Bulgarian 1.5%, Romani 0.3%, other 0.2% (2014 est.)

note: data represent mother tongue

Religions

Orthodox 90.1%, other Christian 2.6%, other 0.1%, agnostic <.1%, atheist 0.2%, unspecified 6.9% (2014 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 18.31% (male 317,243/female 298,673)

15-24 years: 11.27% (male 196,874/female 182,456)

25-54 years: 43.13% (male 738,103/female 712,892)

55-64 years: 13.26% (male 205,693/female 240,555)

65 years and over: 14.03% (male 186,949/female 285,058) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 39.6

youth dependency ratio: 22.2

elderly dependency ratio: 17.4

potential support ratio: 5.7 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 37.7 years

male: 36.2 years

female: 39.5 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

Birth rate

10.45 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 183

Death rate

12.46 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

Net migration rate

-8.95 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 223

Population distribution

pockets of agglomeration exist throughout the country, the largest being in the center of the country around the capital of Chisinau, followed by Tiraspol and Balti

Urbanization

urban population: 42.8% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: -0.07% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

499,000 CHISINAU (capital) (2020)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

24.8 years (2017 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

19 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 125

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.83 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 116

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.16 years

male: 68.3 years

female: 76.26 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 167

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.5% of population

rural: 84.6% of population

total: 90.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.5% of population

rural: 15.4% of population

total: 9.5% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

3.21 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

5.8 beds/1,000 population (2013)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 98.3% of population

rural: 78.9% of population

total: 87.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.7% of population

rural: 21.1% of population

total: 12.8% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<500 (2019 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.4%

male: 99.7%

female: 99.1% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 12 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 7.4%

male: 7.5%

female: 7.2% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 147

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Moldova

conventional short form: Moldova

local long form: Republica Moldova

local short form: Moldova

former: Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic

etymology: named for the Moldova River in neighboring eastern Romania

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Chisinau in Moldovan (Kishinev in Russian)

geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 28 51 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

note: pronounced KEE-shee-now (KIH-shi-nyov)

etymology: origin unclear but may derive from the archaic Romanian word "chisla" ("spring" or "water source") and "noua" ("new") because the original settlement was built at the site of a small spring

Administrative divisions

32 raions (raioane, singular - raion), 3 municipalities (municipii, singular - municipiul), 1 autonomous territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala autonoma), and 1 territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala)

raions: Anenii Noi, Basarabeasca, Briceni, Cahul, Cantemir, Calarasi, Causeni, Cimislia, Criuleni, Donduseni, Drochia, Dubasari, Edinet, Falesti, Floresti, Glodeni, Hincesti, Ialoveni, Leova, Nisporeni, Ocnita, Orhei, Rezina, Riscani, Singerei, Soldanesti, Soroca, Stefan Voda, Straseni, Taraclia, Telenesti, Ungheni

municipalities: Balti, Bender, Chisinau

autonomous territorial unit: Gagauzia

territorial unit: Stinga Nistrului (Transnistria)

Independence

27 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday

Independence Day, 27 August (1991)

Constitution

history: previous 1978; latest adopted 29 July 1994, effective 27 August 1994

amendments: proposed by voter petition (at least 200,000 eligible voters), by at least one third of Parliament members, or by the government; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Parliament within one year of initial proposal; revisions to constitutional articles on sovereignty, independence, and neutrality require majority vote by referendum; articles on fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2010; note – in early 2016, the Moldovan Constitutional Court decision returned the country to direct presidential elections, reversing a 2000 constitutional amendment that allowed Parliament to select the president

Legal system

civil law system with Germanic law influences; Constitutional Court review of legislative acts

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Moldova

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Maia SANDU (since 24 December 2020)

head of government: prime minister (vacant); Prime Minister Ion CHICU resigned on 23 December 2020

cabinet: Cabinet proposed by the prime minister-designate, nominated by the president, approved through a vote of confidence in Parliament

elections/appointments: president directly elected for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 15 November 2020 (next to be held in fall 2024); prime minister designated by the president upon consultation with Parliament; within 15 days from designation, the prime minister-designate must request a vote of confidence for his/her proposed work program from the Parliament

election results: Maia SANDU elected president; percent of vote (second round results) - Maia SANDU (PAS) 57.7%, Igor DODON (PSRM) 42.3%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament (101 seats; 51 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 50 members directly elected in a single, nationwide constituency by closed party-list proportional representation vote; all members serve 4-year terms

elections: last held on 24 February 2019 (next scheduled for February 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - PSRM 31.2%, ACUM (PPDA + PAS) 26.8%, PDM 23.6%, PS 8.3%, other 10.1%; seats by party - PSRM 35, ACUM (PPDA + PAS) 26, PDM 30, PS 7, independent 3; composition - men 78, women 23, percent of women 22.8%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the chief judge, 3 deputy-chief judges, 45 judges, and 7 assistant judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president and 6 judges); note - the Constitutional Court is autonomous to the other branches of government; the Court interprets the Constitution and reviews the constitutionality of parliamentary laws and decisions, decrees of the president, and acts of the government

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Justice judges appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the Superior Council of Magistracy, an 11-member body of judicial officials; all judges serve 4-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed 2 each by Parliament, the president, and the Higher Council of Magistracy for 6-year terms; court president elected by other court judges for a 3-year term

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Court of Business Audit; municipal courts

Political parties and leaders

represented in Parliament:
Action and Solidarity Party or PAS [Maia SANDU]
Democratic Party of Moldova or PDM [Vladimir PLAHOTNIUC]
Dignity and Truth Platform or PPDA [Andrei NASTASE]
NOW Platform or ACUM (PPDA + PAS)
Shor Party or PS [Ilan SHOR]
Socialist Party of the Republic of Moldova or PSRM [Zinaida GRECEANII]
not represented in Parliament, participated in recent elections (2014-2019):
Anti-Mafia Movement or MPA [Sergiu MOCANU]
Centrist Union of Moldova or UCM [Mihai PETRACHE]
Christian Democratic People's Party or PPCD [Victor CIOBANU]
Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova or PCRM [Vladimir VORONIN]
Conservative Party or PC [Natalia NIRCA]
Democracy at Home Party or PDA [Vasile COSTIUC]
Democratic Action Party or PAD [Mihai GODEA]
Ecologist Green Party or PVE [Anatolie PROHNITCHI]
European People’s Party of Moldova or EPPM [Iurie LEANCA]
Law and Justice Party or PLD [Nicolae ALEXEI]
Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova or PLDM [Tudor DELIU]
Liberal Party or PL [Dorin CHIRTOACA]
"Motherland" Party or PP [Sergiu BIRIUCOV]
National Liberal Party or PNL [Vitalia PAVLICENKO]
Our Home Moldova or PCNM [Grigore PETRENCO]
Our Party or PN [Renato USATII]
Party of National Unity [Anatol SALARU]
People’s Party of Moldova or PPRM [Alexandru OLEINIC]
Regions Party of Moldova or PRM [Alexandr KALININ]
Socialist People’s Party of Moldova or PPSM [Victor STEPANIUC]

International organization participation

BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, CIS, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Eugen CARAS (since 17 July 2020)

chancery: 2101 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 667-1130

FAX: [1] (202) 667-1204

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Dereck J. HOGAN (since 15 October 2018)

telephone: [373] (22) 40-8300

embassy: 103 Mateevici Street, Chisinau MD-2009

mailing address: use embassy street address

FAX: [373] (22) 23-3044

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of Prussian blue (hoist side), chrome yellow, and vermilion red; emblem in center of flag is of a Roman eagle of dark gold (brown) outlined in black with a red beak and talons carrying a yellow cross in its beak and a green olive branch in its right talons and a yellow scepter in its left talons; on its breast is a shield divided horizontally red over blue with a stylized aurochs head, star, rose, and crescent all in black-outlined yellow; based on the color scheme of the flag of Romania - with which Moldova shares a history and culture - but Moldova's blue band is lighter; the reverse of the flag displays a mirrored image of the coat of arms

note: one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Paraguay and Saudi Arabia

National symbol(s)

aurochs (a type of wild cattle); national colors: blue, yellow, red

National anthem

name: "Limba noastra" (Our Language)

lyrics/music: Alexei MATEEVICI/Alexandru CRISTEA

note: adopted 1994

Economy

Economic overview

Despite recent progress, Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. With a moderate climate and productive farmland, Moldova's economy relies heavily on its agriculture sector, featuring fruits, vegetables, wine, wheat, and tobacco. Moldova also depends on annual remittances of about $1.2 billion - almost 15% of GDP - from the roughly one million Moldovans working in Europe, Israel, Russia, and elsewhere.

With few natural energy resources, Moldova imports almost all of its energy supplies from Russia and Ukraine. Moldova's dependence on Russian energy is underscored by a more than $6 billion debt to Russian natural gas supplier Gazprom, largely the result of unreimbursed natural gas consumption in the breakaway region of Transnistria. Moldova and Romania inaugurated the Ungheni-Iasi natural gas interconnector project in August 2014. The 43-kilometer pipeline between Moldova and Romania, allows for both the import and export of natural gas. Several technical and regulatory delays kept gas from flowing into Moldova until March 2015. Romanian gas exports to Moldova are largely symbolic. In 2018, Moldova awarded a tender to Romanian Transgaz to construct a pipeline connecting Ungheni to Chisinau, bringing the gas to Moldovan population centers. Moldova also seeks to connect with the European power grid by 2022.

The government's stated goal of EU integration has resulted in some market-oriented progress. Moldova experienced better than expected economic growth in 2017, largely driven by increased consumption, increased revenue from agricultural exports, and improved tax collection. During fall 2014, Moldova signed an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU (AA/DCFTA), connecting Moldovan products to the world’s largest market. The EU AA/DCFTA has contributed to significant growth in Moldova’s exports to the EU. In 2017, the EU purchased over 65% of Moldova’s exports, a major change from 20 years previously when the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) received over 69% of Moldova’s exports. A $1 billion asset-stripping heist of Moldovan banks in late 2014 delivered a significant shock to the economy in 2015; the subsequent bank bailout increased inflationary pressures and contributed to the depreciation of the leu and a minor recession. Moldova’s growth has also been hampered by endemic corruption, which limits business growth and deters foreign investment, and Russian restrictions on imports of Moldova’s agricultural products. The government’s push to restore stability and implement meaningful reform led to the approval in 2016 of a $179 million three-year IMF program focused on improving the banking and fiscal environments, along with additional assistance programs from the EU, World Bank, and Romania. Moldova received two IMF tranches in 2017, totaling over $42.5 million.

Over the longer term, Moldova's economy remains vulnerable to corruption, political uncertainty, weak administrative capacity, vested bureaucratic interests, energy import dependence, Russian political and economic pressure, heavy dependence on agricultural exports, and unresolved separatism in Moldova's Transnistria region.

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.8% (2019 est.)

3% (2018 est.)

6.5% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 180

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B3 (2010)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$11.982 billion (2019 est.)

Gross national saving

13.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

15.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

14.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 143

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 17.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 20.3% (2017 est.)

services: 62% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 85.8% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 19% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.9% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 42.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -70.7% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

maize, wheat, sunflower seed, grapes, apples, sugar beet, milk, potatoes, barley, plums/sloes

Industries

sugar processing, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 32.3%

industry: 12%

services: 55.7% (2017 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.2%

highest 10%: 22.1% (2014 est.)

Budget

revenues: 2.886 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 2.947 billion (2017 est.)

note: National Public Budget

Public debt

31.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

35.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 163

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$602 million (2017 est.)

-$268 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 126

Exports

$3.985 billion (2019 est.)

$3.826 billion (2018 est.)

$3.57 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 123

Exports - partners

Romania 24.6%, Russia 13.7%, Italy 9.1%, Germany 6.2%, Ukraine 5.3%, UK 4.6%, Poland 4.6% (2017)

Exports - commodities

foodstuffs, textiles, machinery

Imports

$7.113 billion (2019 est.)

$6.765 billion (2018 est.)

$6.165 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 124

Imports - partners

Romania 15.5%, Ukraine 11.4%, Russia 10.6%, China 10.4%, Germany 8.9%, Italy 6.9%, Turkey 6.1% (2017)

Imports - commodities

mineral products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.803 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.206 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 111

Debt - external

$6.549 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$6.138 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 126

Exchange rates

Moldovan lei (MDL) per US dollar -

18.49 (2017 est.)

19.924 (2016 est.)

19.924 (2015 est.)

19.83 (2014 est.)

14.036 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Natural gas - consumption

2.52 billion cu m (2017 est.)

note: excludes breakaway Transnistria

country comparison to the world: 78

Natural gas - imports

2.52 billion cu m (2017 est.)

note: excludes breakaway Transnistria

country comparison to the world: 46

Natural gas - proved reserves

NA cu m (1 January 2017 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 901,317

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 26.5 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 3,039,990

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 89.38 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 139

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the mobile market has extended the reach of services to outside the cities and across most of the country; endeavors to join the EU have promoted regulatory issues to be in line with EU principles and standards; LTE services available; market is competitive with 94 ISPs active; by mid-2019 fiber accounted for about 62% of all fixed broadband connections; most telecom revenue is from the mobile market (2020)

domestic: competition among mobile telephone providers has spurred subscriptions; little interest in expanding fixed-line service 27 per 100; mobile-cellular teledensity sits at 89 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 373; service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - at least 3 - Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media

state-owned national radio-TV broadcaster operates 1 TV and 1 radio station; a total of nearly 70 terrestrial TV channels and some 50 radio stations are in operation; Russian and Romanian channels also are available (2019)

Internet users

total: 2,616,792

percent of population: 76.12% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 108

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 623,135

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,135,999 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 640,000 mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 5 (2017)

over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 2 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Pipelines

1916 km gas (2014)

Railways

total: 1,171 km (2014)

standard gauge: 14 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)

broad gauge: 1,157 km 1.520-m gauge (2014)

country comparison to the world: 87

Roadways

total: 9,352 km (2012)

paved: 8,835 km (2012)

unpaved: 517 km (2012)

country comparison to the world: 136

Waterways

558 km (in public use on Danube, Dniester and Prut Rivers) (2011)

country comparison to the world: 82

Merchant marine

total: 127

by type: bulk carrier 5, container ship 5, general cargo 84, oil tanker 8, other 25 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 80

Military and Security

Military and security forces

National Army: Land Forces Command, Air Forces Command (includes air defense unit); Carabinieri Troops (a component of the Ministry of Internal Affairs that also has official status as a service of the Armed Forces during wartime) (2020)

Military expenditures

0.4% of GDP (2019)

0.4% of GDP (2018)

0.4% of GDP (2017)

0.45% of GDP (2016)

0.4% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 153

Military and security service personnel strengths

estimates of the size of the Moldovan National Army vary; approximately 6,000 active troops (5,000 Land Forces; 1,000 Air Force) (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Moldovan military's inventory is limited and almost entirely comprised of older Russian and Soviet-era equipment; since 2000, it has received small amounts of donated material from other nations, including the US (2019 est.)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; male registration required at age 16; 1-year service obligation (2019)

note: Moldova intends to abolish military conscription by 2021

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor the transit of people and commodities through Moldova's break-away Transnistria region, which remains under the auspices of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe-mandated peacekeeping mission comprised of Moldovan, Transnistrian, Russian, and Ukrainian troops

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 6,779 applicants for forms of legal stay other than asylum (Ukraine) (2015)

stateless persons: 3,500 (2019)

Illicit drugs

limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia via Central Asia to Russia, Western Europe, and possibly the US; widespread crime and underground economic activity