Moldovans begin visa-free travel to Europe

GALATI, Romania (AP) — Moldovans have begun to travel to Europe without visas, a victory for the former Soviet republic's pro-European government which is seeking to join the European Union.

The European Parliament approved visa-free travel across most of Europe for Moldovan citizens in February. As of Monday Moldovans with biometric passports — containing a chip with a photo and fingerprint data — can travel without visas across 26 European nations, the so-called Schengen area.

Romanian border guards at the Galati crossing, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of Bucharest welcomed the move, saying it would simplify travel. Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca called it "a victory for all of us who see our future in a modern and European Moldova."

Moldova is pursuing an association agreement with the EU.

Related Headlines

  • EU slaps initial sanctions on Russia

    BRUSSELS — The European Union suspended talks with Russia on a wide-ranging economic pact and a visa agreement Thursday in response to its military incursion into Ukraine's ... 

  • Romanian sausage to be saved under new EU rules

    Romania's national dish looks like it will be granted a European Union reprieve. The Romanian Meat Association says officials in Brussels have agreed that bicarbonate of soda, ... 

  • Moldova's leader backs firm pro-Europe stance

    Despite protests from Moscow and only partial support among his own people, Moldova's prime minister says he believes his firm pro-European stance will benefit the country's ... 

  • Romania: Putin is creating a Black Sea barrier

    Romania's president said Monday that Russia has created a chain of conflicts around the Black Sea to further President Vladimir Putin's goal of rebuilding the former Soviet ...