Moldova, officially the Republic of Moldova, with the capital city Chișinău, is a country situated in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. Most of the Moldovan territory was a part of the Principality of Moldavia from the 14th century, but as a distinct territory from the rest of Moldova the history begins in 1812, when by the Treaty of Bucharest, the region between Prut and Nistru rivers (called Bessarabia) was ceded to the Russian Empire by the Ottoman Empire. The history of modern Republic of Moldova as an independent state starts 106 years later, in 1918 when Bessarabia briefly became autonomous and then the independent Moldavian Democratic Republic, until it was integrated into Romania in 1918 following a vote of its assembly. In 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia to the Soviet Union, leading to the creation of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavian SSR), which included the greater part of Bessarabia and the westernmost strip from Ukrainian SSR (currently the autonomous region of Transnistria where a separatist government has de facto control over that area). On 27 August 1991, as the dissolution of the Soviet Union was under way, the Moldavian SSR declared independence and took the name Moldova. The national currency (Moldovan Leu - MDL) was first introduced in circulation on the 29th of November 1993. All the coins depict the national Coat of Arms on the obverse side.