Lithuanian MPs have submitted a bill on reinstating citizenship for Jews who left Lithuania between the two world wars and their descendants.

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© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Litvaks, as Jews of Lithuanian descent are known, have complained that the country's Migration Department has been rejecting their applications.

Under the bill, Lithuania should reintroduce the practice of 2011-2015 when persons who emigrated from Lithuania between June 15, 1940, and March 11, 1990, as well as their descendants could get back their Lithuanian citizenship without any bureaucratic obstacles after submitting necessary documents, Lietuvos Žinios reports.

Over the past few years, the Migration Department has been rejecting citizenship restoration applications from Litvaks living in Israel and the Republic of South Africa.

In rejecting their citizenship applications, migration specialists refer to case law that says that citizenship can be restored only to persons who left Lithuania before the restoration of independence in 1990 for political reasons, resistance to occupation regimes or persecution by the regime. They say that Jews were not persecuted in the the Republic of Lithuania of the interwar years.

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