Europe

Moldova: president strips ex-Romanian leader of citizenship

Moldova's new president has stripped the ex-president of Romania of his recently-acquired Moldovan citizenship, saying he obtained it illegally.

In November, Traian Basescu and his wife Maria were awarded citizenship of the troubled ex-Soviet republic, formerly part of Romania.

Moldova's President Igor Dodon on Tuesday signed a decree revoking Traian Basescu's citizenship. Basescu called the decision "political" and said that Dodon was "afraid" of him.

Dodon favors closer relations with Russia, while Basescu has called for the reunification of Romania and Moldova.

As Romanian president from 2004 to 2014, Basescu promoted closer ties and said the neighbors should reunite. Under his presidency, hundreds of thousands of Moldovans became eligible for Romanian citizenship.