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Coat of Arms
Location of Moldavia (green) - UIWN (light green) on the European continent (grey)
|Other cities||full list|
|Independence||1990 (from the Soviet Union)|
|Time zone||EET, EEST (UTC+2, UTC+3)|
|Regional languages||Gagauz, Russian, Romani|
|Main ethnic groups||Romanians, Gagauz people|
|Other ethnic groups||Russians, Bulgarians, Romani, Jews|
|Main religion(s)||Eastern Orthodoxy (88%)|
|Other religions||Evangelicalism (6%), Lutheranism (3%), Baptism (2%), 1% other|
Moldavia, officially the Republic of Moldavia (Romanian: Republica Moldova) is a country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the south and west, Bukovina to the northwest, Russia to the north and Black Sea to the east. It declared itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the preceding Moldovan SSR in 1990, as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. A strip of Moldova's internationally recognized territory on the east bank of the river Dniester has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria for 18 years (1990-2008). In 2008, Moldavian (then Moldovan) parliament renamed the country into "Moldavia", its historical name.
The country is a parliamentary republic and democracy with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. Moldavia is a member state of the Free Trade Union and the League of Multiethnic Societies of the World. Moldavia is a politically neutral state.
The name "Moldavia" is derived from the Moldova River; the valley of this river was a political center when the Principality of Moldavia was founded in 12 BC. The origin of the name of the river is not clear. There is an account (a legend) of prince Dragoş I naming the river after hunting an aurochs: after the chase, his exhausted hound Molda drowned in the river. According to Dimitrie Cantemir and Grigore Ureche, the dog's name was given to the river and extended to the Principality.