RIGA – Saeima today sent to the Citizenship, Migration and Society Consolidation Committee for review the proposal to grant Latvian citizenship to the world famous Riga-born ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov.
The Citizenship Law stipulates that a person who has rendered special meritorious service for the benefit of Latvia may be granted Latvian citizenship by a Saeima decision.
To prepare its resolution on that matter, members of the Saeima Citizenship, Migration and Society Consolidation Committee might want to meet with the citizenship candidate. After that, the committee might decide on presenting its resolution to Saeima which then would be expected to take the final decision on granting the citizenship.
A letter has also since been received from Baryshnikov, saying that he is honored that such a possibility is being considered, and that he would be glad to accept Latvian citizenship, the head of the commission Ilmars Latkovskis (National Alliance) told BNS.
At the moment, Baryshnikov is a U.S. citizen, however, both the United States and Latvia permit dual citizenship.
Mikhail Baryshnikov was born in Riga, where he started attending ballet classes at the age of nine. Later he graduated from Leningrad Ballet School; in 1969 Baryshnikov became the leading soloist of Kirov Ballet. In 1974 he left Russia to pursue an international career in ballet and contemporary dance companies.
He has been the leading soloist also at the New York City Ballet and has participated in several projects in Riga as well in recent years, the latest his solo show called Letter to a Man at the Latvian National Opera and the acclaimed Alvis Hermanis-directed Brodsky-Baryshnikov performances at the new Riga Theater.