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: 3,388,071 (2004C); 3,412,000 (2007E).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): CHIŞINĂU (formerly Kishinev, 596,000), Tiraspol (185,000), Tighina (125,00), Bǎlţi (123,000).
Official Language: Moldovan.
Monetary Unit: Moldovan leu (official rate November1, 2008: 10.35 leu = $1US).
President: Vladimir VORONIN (Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova); elected by the Parliament on April 4, 2001, and reelected on April 4, 2005, succeeding Petru LUCINSCHI (nonparty).
Prime Minister: Zinaida ...