Moldova's parliament has approved in its first reading a bill which could make payment for sex a crime punishable by fines.
The draft bill envisages fines of up to 6,000 leu ($500) or 60 hours of community service for clients of prostitutes.
The fines were proposed by the Liberal Party, which argues they would help reduce the number of "sex tourists" in the impoverished former Soviet republic.
But some lawmakers rejected the bill, accusing the Liberals of populism.
Prostitution and pimping in the country are already subject to smaller fines.
An opinion survey earlier this year suggested 70 percent of Moldavan women aged between 15 and 25 had at least once in their life had sex for money.
Similar legislation is in place in a number of EU countries, inlcuding Sweden and Norway.