In the wake of its proclamation of sovereignty in 1990, Moldova's main diplomatic efforts were directed toward establishing new relationships with the Soviet Union's successor states, establishing diplomatic links with other national governments and international bodies, gaining international recognition, and enlisting international support to resolve the conflict in Transnistria. Although substantial gains have been made in each of these areas, Moldova's foreign policy efforts have been complicated by its geographic position, its history, and the ongoing ethnic conflict within its borders.
After it declared independence, Moldova made significant progress in international relations in a relatively short period of time. The first state to recognize Moldova's independence was neighboring Romania. By early 1995, Moldova had been recognized by more than 170 states, including the United States (which extended recognition on December 25, 1991), although foreign diplomatic presence in Chisinau remains limited.
As of early 1995, Moldova had been admitted to several international organizations, including the CSCE (renamed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, in January 1995), the United Nations (UN), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, and the Community of Riparian Countries of the Black Sea. It also had observer status at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the successor to GATT.
By mid-1994 Moldova had accepted all relevant arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union. It had ratified the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty (with its comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment). Even though Moldova had not acceded to the provisions of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it had indicated that it intended to do so.
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