|1st President of Moldova|
3 September 1990 – 15 January 1997
|Succeeded by||Petru Lucinschi|
|Member of the Moldovan Parliament|
21 April 1998 – 20 March 2001
|Parliamentary group||Democratic Convention|
17 April 1990 – 3 September 1990
|Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of SSR Moldova|
27 April 1990 – 3 September 1990
|Preceded by||Ion Cebanu|
|Succeeded by||Alexandru Moșanu|
|Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Moldavian SSR|
29 July 1989 – 17 April 1990
|Preceded by||Alexandru Mocanu|
|People's Deputy of the Soviet Union|
26 March 1989 – 29 July 1989
|Born||17 January 1940|
Trifănești, Kingdom of Romania
|Died||13 September 2023 (aged 83)|
|Resting place||Chișinău Central Cemetery|
(m. 1960; died 2019)
|Children||2, including Natalia Gherman|
|Alma mater||State Agrarian University of Moldova|
Mircea Ion Snegur (pronounced [ˈmirtʃe̯a ˈsneɡur]; 17 January 1940 – 13 September 2023) was a Moldovan agronomist and politician who served as the first president of Moldova from 1990 to 1997. Before that, he served as the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Moldovan SSR from 1989 to 1990 and chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 27 April to 3 September 1990.
Early life and education
Snegur was born on 17 January 1940 in Trifănești, then Kingdom of Romania. In 1957, Snegur graduated from the high school in Frumușica, Florești District, and went on to study at the Agricultural State University of Moldova, from which he graduated in 1961, and where he completed a PhD in agricultural sciences at the university's Department of Animal Husbandry in 1972.
As a trained agronomist, Snegur worked as the director of kolkhoz in the village of Lunga, Florești District, from 1961 to 1968. From 1968 to 1973, he was the director of the Experimental Station of Field Crops. From 1973 to 1978, Snegur was the director of the Main Agricultural Science Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture. From 1978 to 1981, he worked as the general director of the Selectia Research Institute of Field Crops in Bălți.
Early political career
In 1981, he became the Secretary of the Communist Party committee of Edineț District, an office he held until 1985. That year, he became Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, serving until 1989. On 26 March 1989 Snegur was elected member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in the 11th and 12th convocations.
On 29 July 1989, Snegur was appointed Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Moldavia, serving in this role until 27 April 1990. During his term, he supported the bill to make Moldovan the official language and the return of the tricolor flag of Moldova. On 27 April, he became the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Moldavian SSR. On 3 September, he became President of the Moldovan SSR.
On 23 May 1991, Snegur became the president of the Republic of Moldova, still a constituent republic of the USSR. on 27 August 1991, Moldova declared its independence from the Soviet Union and Snegur became the first president of Moldova as an independent state. Snegur decided to run as an independent candidate in the December 1991 presidential election, running unopposed after the Popular Front's efforts to organize a voter boycott failed.
On 3 September 1991, Snegur created the National Army of Moldova. In December 1991, Snegur signed the act that made Moldova a full member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and on 2 March 1992, Moldova became a member of the United Nations. In July, Snegur signed with Russian president Boris Yeltsin a treaty to mark the end of the Transnistrian War. On 29 June 1994, a new Constitution of Moldova was adopted, and on 26 June 1995, Moldova was admitted as a member of the Council of Europe.
Unification with Romania
In an address to the Parliament of Romania in February 1991, Snegur spoke of a common identity of Moldovans and Romanians, referring to the "Romanians of both sides of the Prut River". Despite this Snegur proved to be opposed to immediate reunification with Romania, which led to a split with the Popular Front of Moldova in October 1991. He instead sported the idea of a political union that would keep the political sovereignty of each state whilst engaging in economic and military cooperation (known as the "one people, two States" plan).
Later years of presidency (1995–1997)
In 1995, Snegur founded the Party of Rebirth and Conciliation of Moldova with former members of the Agrarian Party of Moldova. Snegur ran as the Party of Rebirth and Conciliation's candidate in the 1996 presidential election, where he won a plurality, but not a majority, of votes in the first round. However, Parliamentary speaker Petru Lucinschi surprised the nation with an upset victory over Snegur in the second round. Snegur continued as President until 15 January 1997.
He published his memoirs in the book "Labyrinth of Destiny: memoirs" in 2007.
Snegur died on 13 September 2023, at age 83. President Maia Sandu declared mourning day for 16 September with a nationwide minute of silence at 12:00h. The state funeral took place on 16 September, with an early memorial service in the Nativity Cathedral of Chișinău, and the coffin was laid to rest at the Palace of the Republic, from where the funeral procession left, passing through Great National Assembly Square until arriving at the Central Cemetery, where he was buried.
Honours and awards
- Order of the Badge of Honour (1966)
- Medal "For Labour Valour" (1976)
- Diploma of the European Academy of Arts (1995)
- Diploma of Honour and Gold Medal of the European Order of Merit (1995)
- Doctor honoris causa from the State Agrarian University of Moldova (1996)
- Doctor honoris causa from the Ankara University (1996)
- Order of the Republic (2000)
- Doctor honoris causa from the Free International University of Moldova (2001)
- Order for Merits to Lithuania (2007) 
- Doctor honoris causa from the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (2011)
- "Mircea Snegur, Who Led Moldova's Independence Drive And Became President, Dies At 83". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 14 September 2023.
- "Biography of President of the Republic of Moldova Mircea Snegur, 1990–1996". Presidency of the Republic of Moldova. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- "Snegur Mircea". Moldovenii (in Romanian). Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- "A decedat Mircea Snegur, primul președinte al Republicii Moldova". Moldpres. 14 September 2023.
- "Short History". Research Institute of Field Crops. Retrieved 19 June 2016.
- "Mircea Snegur împlinește astăzi 80 de ani". noi.md. 17 January 2020.
- Problems, Progress and Prospects in a Post-Soviet Borderland: The Republic of Moldova. Trevor Waters. "In an address to the Romanian parliament in February 1991 (on the first official visit to Romania by any leader from Soviet Moldova since its annexation), the then President Snegur strongly affirmed the common Moldovan-Romanian identity, noting, 'We have the same history and speak the same language,' and referred to 'Romanians on both sides of the River Prut'. In June 1991 the Romanian parliament vehemently denounced the Soviet annexation of Bessarabia and Northern Bucovina, describing the territories as 'sacred Romanian lands'."
- "Băsescu, despre R. Moldova: Suntem două state, un singur popor şi avem viitor comun". Archived from the original on 9 September 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
- Labirintul destinului : memorii. WorldCat. OCLC 122514291. Retrieved 17 September 2023.
- Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. London: Europa. 2000. ISBN 1-85743-091-3 – via Google Books.
- "Wife of Moldova's first President Mircea Snegur died". IPN Press Agency. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
- "Mircea Snegur, first president of Moldova, dies at 83". Reuters. 14 September 2023. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
- "A murit primul președinte al Republicii Moldova, Mircea Snegur". TVRMoldova. 14 September 2023. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
- "Умер первый президент Молдавии". РБК (in Russian). 14 September 2023. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
- "Day of 16 September declares national mourning day, on funerals of first President of Moldova Mircea Snegur". Moldpres. 15 September 2023.
- "A moment of silence will be held on September 16, at 12:00 in memory of the First President, Mircea Snegur". Moldova 1. 15 September 2023.
- "Primul președinte al Republicii Moldova, Mircea Snegur, a fost petrecut pe ultimul drum". Moldpres (in Romanian). 16 September 2023.
- Декрет президента Литвы от 18 января 2007 года № 1K-868 Информация на официальном сайте президента Литвы (in Lithuanian)[failed verification]