Located to the east of Romania, Moldova is a former Soviet republic that used to be known as Moldavia. Although a part of Europe, it is considered one of the poorest countries on the continent with most of the economy heavily reliant on agriculture. Two-thirds of Moldovans are of Romanian descent, and the two countries share a common cultural heritage.
Most of the nation lies between two rivers, the Dniester and the Prut. The western border of Moldova is along the Prut river, which joins the Danube before flowing into the Black Sea. Its continental climate is due to its proximity to the Black Sea, making it mildly cold in the fall and winter and relatively cool in the spring and summer.