Moldova marks 30 years of independence from Soviet rule

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Moldova’s pro-Western president has been joined in the capital Chisinau by her counterparts from Romania, Poland, and Ukraine to celebrate the country’s three decades of independence from Soviet rule. Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, proclaimed its independence from the Soviet Union on August 27, 1991. The 30-year anniversary event was held in the capital’s Grand National Assembly Square Friday. For years the country of 3.5 million has been plagued by poverty, high-level corruption and widespread disillusionment, prompting a mass exodus of Moldovan citizens as hundreds of thousands moved aboard seeking better futures. A pro-reform party won national elections in July.