Lithuania's PM demands interior ministry explain legality of Abromavičius retaining Lithuanian citizenship
Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has demanded that the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania publicly explain whether former Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine and incumbent Director General of state-owned Military-Industrial Concern Ukroboronprom Aivaras Abromavičius is still a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.
"If there are doubts about the legality of citizenship of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, these doubts should be dispelled. The agencies concerned should take all necessary measures to ensure that this is done," Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis told reporters, according to the Lithuanian online publication Lietuvos Rytas.
"If such grounds are established, responsible institutions should take measures to terminate citizenship," he said.
This was the comment by the Prime Minister of Lithuania on a statement by experts on the constitutional law of Lithuania that Aivaras Abromavičius blatantly violated the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and should be deprived of that country's citizenship.
Lietuvos Rytas writes that under the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, Aivaras Abromavičius had to apply to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for permission to work as Ukraine's economy minister and Ukroboronprom's Director General, but he did not file such an application.
"Abromavičius did not apply to the government for such permission when he was minister in Ukraine," the then-Prime Minister of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius said in a comment to Lietuvos Rytas.
Vytautas Sinkevičius, the most respected expert on the constitutional law of Lithuania, a former judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, a professor of constitutional law, says that a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who became a civil servant in another country, including political posts in another country, and did not receive permission from the Government of Lithuania, should be deprived of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania. The professor emphasizes that such an approach should be applicable even if this citizen is no longer a public servant in another country.
Under Lithuanian laws, the civil service of another state also includes work in organizations that perform the functions of public administration, and work at such an organization requires citizenship of another state, the publication says.
According to Lietuvos Rytas, the post of Ukroboronprom's Director General just falls into this category, as under the Law of Ukraine on the specifics of managing state-owned property in the military-industrial complex and Ukroboronprom's bylaws, the Military-Industrial Concern performs a number of public administration functions. Ukroboronprom's head should also get access to state secrets from the SBU Security Service of Ukraine, and such access under the Law of Ukraine on State Secret is granted only to citizens of Ukraine.
Thus, Lietuvos Rytas writes, Aivaras Abromavičius systematically violates the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by not applying to the Government of Lithuania for permission to work as a top manager at Ukroboronprom.
Lietuvos Rytas explains that Abromavičius did not apply for permission to the Lithuanian government to work as Ukraine's Minister of Economy then and Director General of Ukroboronprom now, because it would have become known in Ukraine that he had not fulfilled his obligation given in December 2014, when he received Ukrainian citizenship from the then President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko – to renounce citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania within two years. Then it would have become clear that he publicly lied that he had automatically lost Lithuanian citizenship when he entered the citizenship of Ukraine.
Advisor to the Minister of the Interior of Lithuania Božena Zaborovska-Zdanovič confirmed to Lietuvos Rytas that Abromavičius had not applied to the Migration Department of the Republic of Lithuania with a request to renounce citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, but instead he had asked to retain Lithuanian citizenship. Lietuvos Rytas also published information from the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine that in 2019 Abromavičius crossed the Ukrainian border with valid passports of Ukraine and the Republic of Lithuania.