Ex-president of Romania is now also citizen of Moldova

AP News
Posted: Nov 03, 2016 12:50 PM
Ex-president of Romania is now also citizen of Moldova

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The former president of Romania became a Moldovan citizen on Thursday and said he may get politically involved in the troubled former Soviet republic.

Traian Basescu and his wife, Maria, were given citizenship after taking an oath at the Moldovan embassy in Bucharest. Moldova was part of Romania until 1940.

As Romania's president from 2004 to 2014, Basescu promoted closer ties with Moldova and said the neighboring countries should reunite. Hundreds of thousands of Moldovans became eligible for Romanian citizenship during his presidency.

Basescu is running for the Senate in Romania's Dec. 11 parliamentary elections.

"I have to admit, I also have political options in Moldova," he said, declining to elaborate.

Basescu strongly supports Moldova moving closer to the European Union.

"I'm convinced that Moldova has one way to go.... toward the West...toward the EU and why not... toward Romania if Moldovan citizens want it that way," he said after obtaining dual citizenship.

Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe, is scheduled to hold a presidential runoff on Nov. 13. The leading candidate, who favors closer ties with Russia, is running against an ex-World Bank economist who wants to move closer to Europe.