Sports support of Russia
Lithuania’s president revokes ice dancer’s citizenship
As of: 8:24 p.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes
Margarita Drobiazko takes part in shows in Russia organized by the wife of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
Quelle: picture alliance/Artyom Geodakyan/TASS/dpa
Ice dancer Margarita Drobiazko has been stripped of her Lithuanian citizenship, which was once granted to her for special merits. Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda is following a recommendation.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has revoked ice dancer Margarita Drobiazko’s Lithuanian citizenship, which had once been granted to her for special services. The head of state of the Baltic EU and NATO country has signed a corresponding decree, his spokesman told the BNS news agency on Friday. Nauseda followed a recommendation from the Lithuanian Citizenship Commission, which justified this with Drobiazko’s publicly expressed support for Russia.
Russian-born Drobiazko, who received citizenship of the Baltic state in 1993, is married to Lithuanian ice dancer Povilas Vanagas. The duo represented Lithuania at a total of five Olympic Games and several international championships. The couple currently lives in Russia. It had taken part in ice shows organized by Russian ice dancer Tatyana Nawka – she is the wife of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Drobiazko and her husband Povilas Vanagas at the 2006 European Championships in Lyon
Quelle: picture-alliance/dpa/dpaweb/Abaca Gouhier Nicolas
Drobiazko’s greatest sporting success is winning the bronze medal in ice dancing at the World Championships in Nice in 2000.
“Not propaganda, but the light of culture and goodness”
Drobiazko declined an invitation to the commission meeting at which the withdrawal was decided. Instead, she published an open letter during the week. In it she wrote that she was not involved in Russian propaganda, but rather brought the “light of culture and goodness” with her husband.
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Nauseda had already replied before his decision: “I think that people who want to carry the light of culture and good with the boots of the attacker should continue to do so – without the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.”