Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania Loreta Graužinienė has welcomed the president's proposal to expand provisions for dual citizenship and underlined that the country's Constitution needs to be amended to stay in touch with the times.
Loreta Graužinienė
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Under the president's proposed amendments, individuals with exceptional merits to the country would keep their Lithuanian passports even after becoming citizens of other countries. The president proposed the amendments a day after it emerged that former basketball player Žydrūnas Ilgauskas would lose his Lithuanian citizenship after becoming a citizen of the United States.

"I welcome the president's initiative," Graužinienė told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Wednesday. "Now, as we have free movement of people, we should be more liberal about dual citizenship. The president's amendments would allow us to expand certain exceptions without amending the Constitution. But I think we should resolve this issue fundamentally once and for all by finding political will and amending the Constitution," she said.

Currently the Lithuanian Constitution stipulates that dual citizenship is possible only in exceptional cases.

Meanwhile Dainius Žalimas, president of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania, says that Ilgauskas consciously renounced his Lithuanian citizenship after he was sworn in as an American citizen, therefore, it is wrong to say that he is being stripped of it.

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