Liepa, Kudimov stripped of Lithuanian citizenship

  • 2024-03-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – President Gitanas Nauseda has stripped Ilze Liepa, a ballet dancer who lives in Russia, and Yuri Kudimov, a businessman and former KGB employee, of their Lithuanian citizenship granted by way of exception. 

"The president has signed two decrees, on Ilze Liepa and Yuri Kudimov," Nauseda's spokesman Ridas Jasiulionis told BNS on Thursday.

The Citizenship Commission recommended last month that Nauseda deprive both individuals of their Lithuanian citizenship. 

The initiative to strip Liepa, who held both Lithuanian and Russian passports, of her Lithuanian citizenship came after the ballet dancer's interview with Russian media in which she condemned the Baltic states for their behavior and expressed her support for President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine.

The move to revoke Kudimov's Lithuanian citizenship followed the State Security Department's report that he obtained it in 1998 by concealing some personal information, including the fact that he was an intelligence officer of the KGB of the Soviet Union. 

The intelligence agency considers Kudimov's long-standing contacts with persons linked to Russian intelligence services and high-ranking officials, as well as his activities in economic sectors of strategic importance to the Russian regime and his ties to Russian influence operations abroad, a threat to Lithuania's security interests

Under the Law on Citizenship, a person granted Lithuanian citizenship by way of exception may lose it if their actions pose a threat to Lithuania's security interests and if the person publicly express support for a state that poses a threat to the security interests of Lithuania or other EU member states, or of their allies.

Based on this provision, Nauseda last year stripped Margarita Drobiazko of her Lithuanian citizenship. The Russian ice dancer, together with her Lithuanian husband Povilas Vanagas, participated in projects organized by the wife of Russian president's press secretary.