Lithuanian authorities may deprive Russian ballerina and actress Ilze Liepa of her citizenship. The Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs ordered the Migration Department to begin the corresponding procedure, writes Baltic News Service.
The ministry said in a statement that the ballerina’s public statements showed signs of “discrediting the state.”
The Migration Department has already contacted the “competent authorities” with a request to evaluate Liepa’s statements about the war in Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sever.Realii reports.
The reason for the verification was Liepa’s interview, in which she supported the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine. In addition, the ballerina admitted that she was “ashamed of the Baltics” because of the demolition of Soviet monuments in the Baltic countries. “We understand that, unfortunately, the people are becoming hostage to a small group of people. We are extremely lucky because we have a leader like Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who serves his Motherland and is faithful to his duty,” said the artist.
Ilze Liepa is the daughter of the Latvian choreographer, People’s Artist of the USSR Maris Liepa. She was born in Moscow and lives in Russia. She received Lithuanian citizenship as an exception because she danced with the Lithuanian ballet dancer Petr Skirmantas for more than ten years.
According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs, as an exception, 800 Russian citizens received citizenship. The ministry promises to check information about them.
In mid-September, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda signed a decree depriving figure skater Margarita Drobyazko of her citizenship. She represented the country at the Olympic Games five times. The reason was her participation in the ice shows of the wife of Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov, Tatyana Navka, in Russia.
According to the Citizenship Law, a person loses Lithuanian citizenship, acquired exclusively, if through his actions he threatens the security interests of Lithuania, publicly expresses support for a state that threatens the security interests of the state or another EU country and their allies.