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Republic of Moldova
Political Status: Formerly the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, a constituent republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; declared independence as the Republic of Moldova on August 27, 1991; became sovereign member of the Commonwealth of Independent States on December 21, 1991; new constitution approved on July 28, 1994, and entered into force on August 27.
Area: 13,000 sq. mi. (33,670 sq. km.).
Population: 3,599,249 (2012E—UN); 3,656,843 (2012E—U.S. Census).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): CHIŞINǍU (formerly Kishinev, 596,000), Tiraspol (185,000), Tighina (125,00), Bălţi (123,000).
Official Language: Moldovan.
Monetary Unit: Moldovan leu (official rate October 3, 2011: 11.83 leu = $1US).
President (Acting): Marian LUPU (Democratic Party); named acting president (due to his position as speaker of Parliament) by Parliament on December 30, 2010, to succeed Mihai GHIMPU (Liberal Party), ...