Monday 1 November 2004
October 29, 2004
Moldova: Mass Migration Threatens Country's Future
Hundreds of thousands of Moldovans have left their country over the past decade in search of better lives. Some have headed West, while others have chosen to seek their fortunes in Russia. Some have succeeded in their new lives abroad, while others, mostly young women, have fallen prey to human traffickers. Officially, Moldova is one of Europe's poorest countries, with an average monthly salary of less than $100. But according to estimates, Moldovans living abroad send home between $500 million-$1 billion annually -- up to twice the country's 2004 budget. RFE/RL looks into the causes of Moldova's mass migration and at its long-term effects on the country's future.
October 08, 2004
Moldova: Villagers Face Stark Poverty Amid Once-Prosperous Agricultural Economy
Looking back at better days Moldova is one of Europe's poorest states, despite its rich farmland and renowned vineyards that during communism earned the country the status of the breadbasket of the former Soviet Union. Lack of reforms, political turmoil, and dependence on Russian energy imports have brought Moldova's once prosperous agriculture-based economy to its knees and forced its mostly rural population into deep poverty and mass migration.
October 06, 2004
Moldova: Young Women From Rural Areas Vulnerable To Human Trafficking
Tens of thousands of Moldovan women are estimated to have fallen victim to human trafficking. Most victims come from rural areas, where economic hardships and ignorance turn young girls into easy prey for traffickers. RFE/RL spoke with nongovernmental organizations and government officials about measures in place to help those who have fallen victim to such trafficking, and to curb future abuses.
October 05, 2004
Moldova: Native American 'Shadow Wolves' Helping Train Moldovan Guards To Protect Borders
The "Shadow Wolves" is the name of a group of U.S. Customs officers who are helping in the fight against illegal migration and drug trafficking. They are Native American trackers, experts in using footprints, broken branches, and other clues to follow the trails of human beings and other animals across difficult terrain. RFE/RL tracked down several members of the Shadow Wolves in one unexpected location -- Moldova -- where they were helping to train local border guards.
September 24, 2004
Moldova: President Calls For International Peacekeepers In Breakaway Transdniester Region
Vladimir Voronin with Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo) Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin has called for an international peacekeeping force to replace the Russian peacekeepers in Transdniester. In an interview with RFE/RL, Voronin accused the Russian peacekeepers of siding with the separatists in their long-running dispute with Moldova. Voronin also admitted that Moldova's relations with Russia, Ukraine, and the Commonwealth of Independent States have cooled.
September 23, 2004
Moldova: Hard Work And Devotion Pay Off, Even In Europe's Poorest Country
Over the past decade, Moldova has earned the unwanted reputation as the economic basket case of Europe, with nearly three-quarters of the country's 4 million people living in poverty. Hundreds of thousands of Moldovans have fled a country once celebrated for its delicious wines in hopes of finding a better life abroad. Those who remain are left to eke out a living in often derelict, semi-deserted villages. Yet RFE/RL correspondent Eugen Tomiuc, traveling in rural Moldova, has found a remarkable family who prove that hard work and devotion can still reap a handsome return -- even in the poorest country in Europe.
September 17, 2004
Analysis: Transdniester Wants Talks On 'Federal System' With Moldova
Valerii Litskai, the "foreign minister" of the self-proclaimed Transdniester Republic, suggested on 16 September that the current impasse in relations between the Transdniestrian and Moldovan authorities could be overcome by a resumption of the previous five-sided negotiations -- with the participation of Russia, Ukraine, and the OSCE -- without any "preliminary conditions."
September 08, 2004
Transdniester: Media Watchdogs, Officials Call For Release Of Moldovan Journalist
Moldovan officials and an international media watchdog group are calling for the release of a Moldovan television journalist who was beaten and then detained by Transdniestrian separatists. Cameraman Dinu Mija was attacked yesterday while trying to film the seizure of a railway station by separatists. He was later sentenced to 15 days in prison. Transdniestrian separatists also briefly detained a BBC crew last week. The attacks on journalists come amid heightened tensions between Moldova and its breakaway region.
September 03, 2004
EU: Foreign Ministers To Discuss Iraq Aid Mission; No Breakthrough Seen On Middle East Or Iran
European Union foreign ministers today began an informal two-day meeting at a castle near the Dutch city of Maastricht. The informal meeting, known as a "Gymnich" after the German city where the first meeting of its type was held, takes place twice a year and gives the ministers an opportunity for strategic brainstorming in a relaxed atmosphere. This Gymnich meeting will feature a first debate on a possible EU "rule-of-law" aid mission to Iraq, in addition to what are likely to be tough exchanges on Iran, the Middle East, and the EU-Burma relationship.