The Republic of Moldova and the United States of America mark today 20 years of diplomatic relations. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Republic of Moldova gained its independence on August 27 the same year. The USA recognized the independence of Moldova on December 25, 1991. The American Government opened an Embassy in Chisinau in March 1992. The Republic of Moldova opened its Embassy to Washington in December 1993.
Five Moldovan Ambassadors served in Washington until now. The current Ambassador to Washington is Igor Munteanu who was appointed in 2010. From the other side, the United States has had eight Ambassadors to Moldova. William H. Moser is the current US Ambassador to Chisinau, appointed in August 2011.
The countries have developed strong political and economic ties during the years. One of the most important economic agreements signed between sides was the $262 million 5-year Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact for economic development and investment projects. The assistance was offered in January 2010.
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was launched in 1992 as an assistance program to support the transition in Moldova. It encourages the societal health and safety, tries to foster democratic processes and helps to restructure and privatize the key industries to strengthen the economic growth.
The United States of America initiated many academic exchange programs. High school and university students, scholars and researchers from Moldova have had the possibility to spend time in the USA in order to taste the American culture. Programs like FLEX, Fulbright, Muskie, UGRAD, Benjamin Franklin, IVLP, and Open World are among those which helped the Moldovans experience the American society. The goals of these programs are to encourage and develop mutual understanding between the United States and Moldova.
Peace Corps program was established in 1993. Ever since, more than 1,080 American volunteers served in Moldova. Currently, there are 120 Americans volunteering in Moldova.
Information centers, American Corners and Alumni Resource Centers were opened throughout Moldova over the past years. The agencies are committed to support the people’s initiatives and projects.
The Republic of Moldova has developed a Partnership for Peace with the American state of North Carolina. The agreement is supposed to facilitate co-operation in realms of civil emergency operations, academic, scientific and cultural exchanges and co-ordination of governmental and non-governmental organizations. Their official partnership was established in April 1999.
The United States of America has invested a lot in Moldova. On the market activate about 200 companies. Some of the major enterprises with American capital are Sun Communications, DAAC Hermes Group, Green Hills, Liar, Horizon Capital and many others. In order to consolidate the investment co-operation policies between the USA and Moldova, the countries established a Joint Economic Task Force in 2003.
Four Moldovan community organizations were founded in the United States of America. They are designed to promote Moldova’s image within the US.
In 20 years of diplomatic relations, the Republic of Moldova and the United States of America have developed strong ties. Lots of official visits were made by statesmen during the years. The most important recent visit to Moldova was the one of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in March 2011. He addressed the nation with a message of support and friendship from the American people.
By Valeriu Gonta, Moldova.ORG (Moldova)
February 28, 2012