President strips Russian ice dancer Drobiazko of Lithuanian citizenship

  • 2023-09-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Friday signed a decree on stripping Russian ice dancer Margarita Drobiazko of her Lithuanian citizenship granted by way of exception.

"The president has signed the decree," Ridas Jasiulionis, spokesman for the president, told BNS.

The Citizenship Commission recommended on Thursday that Drobiazko be stripped of her Lithuanian citizenship, citing her public support for the Kremlin regime waging war in Ukraine as grounds for the action.

Drobiazko was granted Lithuanian citizenship in 1993 for her merits in sport and for promoting the country's name. Drobiazko and her husband Povilas Vanagas have in the past represented Lithuania in various championships.

The parliament earlier this year amended the Law on Citizenship to allow revoking the citizenship of a dual citizen, if the person publicly expresses support for a state that poses a threat to Lithuania or its allies' security interests.

Lithuanian authorities say that Drobiazko maintains close professional and personal ties with Tatyana Navka, the wife of Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this week, Drobiazko said in an open letter that she is not involved in Russian propaganda, but that she is spreading "the light of culture and kindness".