Moldova criticized for offering citizenship for cash

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — An anti-corruption group has criticized Moldova's government for offering citizenship to people who invest hundreds of thousands of euros in the East European state.

Under an amendment, people who invest 100,000 euros ($117,000), buy real estate or lend the state 250,000 euros ($292,000) for five years, can obtain citizenship.

Parliament amended current legislation on Dec. 26, which went largely unnoticed. It went into effect six months later.

Veaceslav Negruta of Transparency International Moldova told The Associated Press Thursday the measures could "legalize dirty money."

Analysts say that the law could allow citizens from Russia and other former Soviet states to travel freely in the European Union.

Moldova signed an association agreement with the EU in 2014. Moldovans don't need visas to travel to the EU.