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The presidency will consider stripping Lithuania’s figure skaters Povilas Vanagas and Margarita Drobiazko of state awards if they perform in a show in Russia.
Margarita Drobiazko ir Povilas Vanagas
Margarita Drobiazko ir Povilas Vanagas
© Alina Paurazė photography

The news agency ELTA has learned from the Office of the President that if the two figure skaters take part in the show in Sochi – organised by Tatiana Navka, the wife of Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin – they could be stripped of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas.

Earlier, MP Stasys Šedbaras urged the government to consider stripping Drobiazko, born in Russia, of Lithuanian citizenship, which was granted to her in 1992.

However, Professor Vytautas Sinkevičius, an expert on constitutional law, is sceptical about the proposal concerning citizenship.

According to him, the Law on Citizenship stipulates that a person may lose it if it was obtained using forged documents if a person becomes a citizen of another country or joins the service of another country without the permission of the Lithuanian Government.

The expert notes that based on the wording of the law the person cannot be stripped of citizenship but may lose it in the aforementioned cases.

Sinkevičius added that the law should not be amended to allow the government to strip people of citizenship as he fears that this clause would be abused when the government changes and a different political force comes to power.

The expert also said that citizenship should be granted in exclusive cases for merits to Lithuania, whereas this likely was not the case as regards Drobiazko. Yet he agreed that the figure skaters could be stripped of state awards.

Vanagas and Drobiazko were awarded Knight’s Crosses of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas in 2000.

Elta EN
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