The Republic of Moldova (Moldova), home to 3.6 million people with Chisinau as its capital, is situated in Eastern Europe neighbouring the north-eastern Balkans. The country covers 33 844 square kilometres (km2) and is bordered by Ukraine on the north, east and south, while the Prut River on the west defines the boundary with Romania (http://moldova.md/). The breakaway region of Transnistria, a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border with Ukraine, is recognised by three non-United Nations (UN) states only and is considered by the UN to be part of Moldova as of early 2017.
Moldova's economy has grown moderately over the 2007‑17 decade. Real gross domestic product (GDP), measured in US dollars (USD) on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP) at 2011 prices, increased by 74% from 2002 to 2015 according to the World Bank. This growth is attributed to increased exports to EU markets and higher prices for agricultural products, although a ban on Moldovan wine imports to the Russian Federation (Russia) in 2006 and severe drought in 2007 severely affected the economy. Since lifting of the ban, growth has returned to the agriculture sector, which is the backbone of the economy. Moldova is, however, highly reliant on international donors and remittances from its many citizens working overseas.
Moldova's improved economic performance reduced national poverty from 30% in 2006 to 9.6% in 2015, and extreme poverty from nearly 5% to 0.2% over the same period.
Because the country lacks energy resources, it is almost wholly dependent on fossil fuel and electricity imports: only 13.7% of its energy demand was met by domestic sources in 2015. Natural gas, which serves most of its energy needs, was entirely imported from Russia via Ukraine up to the end of 2014. In August 2014 the Iasi-Ungheni gas interconnector between Romania and Moldova was commissioned, and became operational in 2015. Once at full capacity in 2020, the pipeline is expected to supply almost all the gas Moldova consumes, but not that of the Transnistria region.
The government also plans to diversify the energy mix with more renewable energy. As expansion requires significant investment in the medium and long term, progress will depend on the country's ability to attract funds. The development of uncontrollable renewables, such as wind and solar, will be limited by the balancing capabilities of the Moldovan power system.Moldova has been a member of the Energy Community since 2010 and signed an Association Agreement with the European Union on 27 June 2014. It therefore has until December 2017 to make its legislation conform to the EU
acquiscommunautaire, which is the core EU energy legislation related to electricity, oil, gas, the environment, competition, renewables, efficiency and statistics. Moldova also plans to fully synchronise its electricity network with the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) to connect to the European electricity market.
Regional energy co-operation with Caspian and Black Sea countries and the European Union follows the framework of the Baku Initiative, which aims to facilitate the progressive integration of the region's energy markets into the EU market, as well as the transportation of substantial quantities of Caspian oil and gas towards Europe. Moldova also participates in the Eastern Partnership, a joint initiative involving the European Union, its member states and the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine; it provides a venue for discussions on trade, economic strategy and travel agreements, as well as an energy security platform. In addition, the European Neighbourhood Policy promotes bilateral co-operation between the European Union and Moldova in line with the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement, which includes energy co-operation.
Energy Policies Beyond IEA Countries - Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia 2015
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