Moldavian citizens living 50 km away and closer to the Romanian border can enter Romania without passport starting Friday, February 26 2010. This is due to the agreement between the two countries that is coming into force today.

According to the Foreign Ministry in Moldova's capital Chisinau, about 1.25 million citizens from the Republic of Moldova living in 361 border towns will benefit from the arrangement.

They will need to present a small traffic permit. This will be released to all those living 50 km away and closer to the border. The permit will be released within60 days from submission of the request, according to radio Romania.

The requests can be submitted for now at the Romanian Consulate in Chisinau. The consulates from Balti and Cahul are being prepared to take over. Moldavian citizens can also approach the republic of Moldova Consulate from Iasi, which will be open to the public by April 2 at the latest, according to the Foreign Moldavian minister Iurie leanca.

The permits will be issued free of charge until Romania joins the Schengen space and later the price will be set by the European Commission. The permits will expire in two to five years.

According to the Romanian officials in the embassy in Chisinau, nobody submitted such a request until Wednesday. Romanian PM Emil Boc and Moldavian Prime-Minister Vlad Filat signed an agreement in December an agreement that allows Romanian and Moldavian citizens living within 30-50 kilometres from the common border to pass freely from one state to the other without visa, but with the traffic permit.