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Driving Directions Moldova

MOLDOVA is a landlocked, somewhat triangular­shaped republic in southeast Europe that, from 1940 to 1991, was part of the USSR and was called the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. It is bordered by Romania in the west and bounded on all other sides by Ukraine. The River Prut forms the western boundary with Romania, while the River Dnister (Nistru) flows close to the eastern bor­der and coincides with it in the northeast and southeast.

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Moldova is a predominantly hilly plain with an average height of around 150 meters or 500 feet. The Prut and Dnister and their tributaries are the central river systems, but there are many smaller rivers and streams, all of them flow­ing generally southwards towards the Black Sea.

The natural vegetation is a mixture of grassland and woodland, a continuation of the steppe and wooded steppe of Ukraine.

Summers are warm to hot, and winters are relatively cold with snow. The most significant amount of precipitation falls on the hills. Over 4 million people live in Moldova, and the population density is quite high. Less than half the population resides in cities or towns, and the majority live in rural areas and are engaged in agriculture.

Moldova’s soils are very fertile, and a variety of crops are grown, including cereals (wheat, barley, maize), sugar beet, soya beans, sunflowers, fruit, walnuts, and tobacco. Cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, and horses are among the livestock raised, and bees and silkworms are kept in some areas. Moldova is also a leading producer of rose oil for the perfume industry.

The economy suffered setbacks in the early 1990s following Moldova’s declaration of independence and following serious ethnic divisions in two areas of the country that remain unresolved. However, it is slowly improving, although the process of change is expected to be quite slow.

Moldova’s most important industries are in food processing, particularly sugar refining, canned goods, and the processing of tobacco and sunflower seeds for oil. Other industries include metalworking, engineering, electrical equipment, farm machinery, refrigerators, construction materials, textiles, and clothing.

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Moldova is mostly a hilly plain cut by the deep valleys of many rivers and streams. In general, the terrain slopes gradually south toward the Black Sea, although the country is separated from the sea by a narrow arm of Ukraine. Moldova’s average elevation is only 147 meters (482 feet) above sea level. Moldova is a landlocked nation and thus borders no oceans or seas.

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