Migration body finds no Lithuanian citizens with family ties to EU-sanctioned persons

  • 2024-01-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Migration Department has not found any more Lithuanian citizens with family ties to individuals subject to EU sanctions. 

According to the Interior Ministry, the Migration Department has checked 3,571 individuals on the sanctions lists and found that none of them or their spouses or children currently holds Lithuanian citizenship.

Evelina Gudzinskaite, the department's director, said earlier this month that the body had found a number of Lithuanian citizens who might have family ties to EU-sanctioned individuals. 

Gudzinskaite told BNS on Thursday that it was preliminary information that did not prove correct.

"We found some coincidences and had suspicions as to whether everything was okay. We started to check manually, paper files," the director said. 

"Some individuals in the sanctions lists do not have their birth dates listed, and the search in the system gave some matches," she said, adding that further search revealed that "these were different people". 

The probe was launched after it emerged that two of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's children, Anna and Arkady, hold Lithuanian passports and may have helped their father circumvent international sanctions.

The Interior Ministry has said that if the Migration Department finds EU-sanctioned persons' relatives with Lithuanian passports, other authorities will look into whether they could be involved in schemes to circumvent the sanctions.

The ministry has also told BNS that legal amendments are currently being finalized to allow stripping people of Lithuanian citizenship acquired by descent.

Last year, the parliament amended the Law on Citizenship to allow depriving a dual citizen of their Lithuanian citizenship granted by way of exception if the person publicly expresses support for a state that poses a threat to Lithuania or its allies' security interests.

The law has so far been applied once to revoke the Lithuanian citizenship of Margarita Drobiazko, a Russian ice dancer. A citizenship review process has been launched for Ilze Liepa, a Russian ballet dancer.  

Among other things, the Interior Ministry has asked the State Security Department to check 800 foreign nationals granted Lithuanian citizenship by way of exception.