I´m back in Moldova , this time with reporter Sara Assarsson. The last time I was here was in January 2006 when I had spent a total of three months in Moldova 2005-2006. I do not know why I continue to go back here. But I guess you get some sort of preference to certain countries that you visit . It also raises an interest in me that the interest and knowledge of Europe’s poorest country , Moldova, is so small. It is in many ways a fascinating country on the border between East and West. The people are friendly. The food is good and the wine is cheap. Moldova is a country that largely consists of vineyards and other agriculture. They have a small middle class and a few are very rich.

There is an ongoing conflict with the breakaway region of Transnistria, which has its own military, currency and laws and the autonomous region of Gagauzia. The conflict has intensified, due to what happens in Ukraine and Crimea.There is also an ongoing conflict among the people and their own affiliations. In tiny Moldova with 3.5 million people , the people speak ”Moldovan” (Romanian mixed with Russian) it´s actually not considered as a language, it´s a remain from the former USSR who invented the Moldovan language. Most of the people speak Russian and Romanian (Romanian is the official language), but there is also Gagauzian (near Turkish language), Ukrainian and Bulgarian. Moldova’s population has declined by about 1 million people since I was here the first time in 2005. (according to wikipedia)

– Åsa Sjöström

PHOTO BY ÅSA SJÖSTRÖM/MOMENT/INSTITUTE