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Georgian Foreign Minister Renounces Russian Citizenship

Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze
Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze
TBILISI -- Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze has renounced his Russian citizenship, RFE/RL's Russian and Georgian services reports.

Vashadze, who had dual citizenship, said on November 4 that after he heard that Russian Duma deputies raised the issue of his Russian citizenship, he decided to give up his Russian passport. He said he sent a letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev renouncing his Russian citizenship.

Vashadze has spent most of his life in Russia. His wife, Nino Ananiashvili, is a ballet dancer in Russia's Bolshoi Theater. He and his wife came to Tbilisi in 2004 at the invitation of President Mikheil Saakashvili, and were later granted Georgian citizenship.

Vashadze was appointed culture minister and became Georgian foreign minister in 2008.

He had previously said he would not give up his Russian citizenship after being criticized by Georgian politicians for continuing to hold it.