VILNIUS - An online petition has been launched, urging citizens to grant Lithuanian citizenship, by way of exception, to American ice skater Isabella Tobias, reports ELTA. Over 300 persons had signed the online petition by Tuesday morning. The petition, addressing the president of Lithuania, asks “to grant citizenship to Tobias, a figure skating representative, who wants to represent our homeland.”
Signatures will be collected until June 1.
It was on Monday that President Dalia Grybauskaite refused to grant citizenship to the figure skating representative, USA national Tobias.
Tobias (21) needs a Lithuanian passport to be able to represent Lithuania in the winter Olympic Games with Lithuanian ice skater Deividas Stagniunas (27).
“The head of the state made this decision in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, rulings of the Constitutional Court, the Law on Citizenship and a proposal by the Citizenship Commission,” a statement by the presidential press service reads.
In 2006, the Constitutional Court ruled that future merits cannot become the basis of granting citizenship of Lithuania.
Under the Lithuanian Law of Citizenship, Lithuanian citizenship can be granted to foreign nationals only if they have indisputable merits to Lithuania, are integrated into Lithuania’s society and are related to Lithuania by factual links.