Home Page
News 03 Nov 16

Romanian Ex-President Gets Moldovan Citizenship

Romania's former president, Traian Basescu, is to finally obtain Moldovan citizenship in a move intended to show support for Europe’s poorest country ahead of a presidential election run-off.

Marian Chiriac
Ex-president Basescu is a strong supporter of close relations between Romania and Moldova. Photo: presidency.ro

Traian Basescu and his wife are to take an oath on Thursday to obtain Moldovan citizenship, just few days before Romania’s neighbour country elects a new president in a closely-contested run-off vote between pro-European and pro-Russian candidates.

“I am interested in voting in the elections in Moldova on November 13, to show my support for the pro-European candidate,” Basescu told Romania’s public broadcaster. 

The ex-president and his wife applied for Moldovan citizenship in March, and their requests were approved in June, but the decision was contested at Moldova’s Constitutional Court. 

The legal deadline for approving citizenship applications is one year but the Moldovan authorities can also approve requests more quickly than that.

Basescu strongly supported Moldova’s European integration during his terms in office between 2004 and 2014, and also supported a law which allowed some 500,000 Moldovans to obtain Romanian citizenship.

The law defines citizenship based on nationality rather than residence.

Citizens who can demonstrate that either they, their parents, or their grandparents are of Romanian origin or lived in territories that were part of Romania before the end of World War II are eligible for dual citizenship. The law applies to citizens of Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia and Bulgaria.

Basescu also declared several times that the "reunification" of Moldova and Romania could become possible in the near future.

Moldova was part of Romania from 1918 to 1940, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union. It became independent in 1991.

Bucharest is carefully following the situation in Moldova, where Socialist, pro-Russian candidate Igor Dodon is to face pro-European Maia Sandu in the presidential election run-off next week. 

Results in the first round of voting on October 30 put Dodon on 48.2 per cent of the vote, while Sandu garnered 38.4 per cent. 

Analysts say that Dodon’s successful presidential bid would take the country off its EU- and Western-oriented path.

Moldova signed an EU association agreement in June 2014, but Russia and pro-Moscow parties in Moldova oppose the country’s membership of the European bloc.

Moldova shares the same ethnic and linguistic background as Romania. Today, about 80 per cent of Moldova’s population of 4.1 million are of Romanian ethnic origin and speak Romanian - although the country's constitution calls the language Moldovan. Russian is also an official language.

Russia and Romania have long vied for influence in Moldova, where reforms are needed to end corruption and depoliticise key institutions such as the judiciary and police.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Premium Selection

19 Jan 18

EU Green Leader Condemns Threat to Bulgarian National Park

The European Greens co-president Ska Keller tells BIRN of her grave concerns for the future of the UNESCO-protected Pirin National Park, after Bulgaria's government approved plans to expand the ski resort there.

19 Jan 18

Vucic Visiting Kosovo to Profit Politically, Experts Say

Saturday's planned visit to Kosovo by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic – following the assassination of Kosovo Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic – is being seen as a point-scoring exercise.

18 Jan 18

Murder Puts Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue in Doubt

17 Jan 18

How Rich Are the Balkans’ Top Politicians?

Latest News from the Balkans

20 Jan 18

Romanians Resume Anti-Corruption Protests

19 Jan 18

Russia Slaps New Ban on Bosnian Apples

19 Jan 18

Duma Slates Moldova's Ban on Russian TV Shows

19 Jan 18

Djukic Trial for Tuzla Massacre Delayed Again