Lithuanian authorities don’t find reasons for naturalization of Isabella Tobias

Isabella Tobias and Deividas Stagniunas

Citizenship Commission proposes Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite to refuse granting the national passport to the American ice dancer Isabella Tobias, who competes with Deividas Stagniunas and who needs a Lithuanian passport in order to participate at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

“The law on citizenship requires a compliance with two criteria: a person must have rendered great services to the Republic of Lithuania or he/she must be integrated into Lithuanian society. According to the Commission, she does not meet any of the criteria. We propose to refuse her request.” said Thursday a commission chairman Indre Pukanasyte to BNS news agency.

The President has not yet made a final decision. The proposal of the Commission has an advisory nature.

Tobias teamed up with Lithuanian ice dancer Deividas Stagniunas in spring 2010. They train under Igor Shpilband and Marina Zueva in Canton, Michigan, USA. Tobias and Stagniunas made their debut at the 2010 Nebelhorn Trophy international competition, where they placed 11th. Couple earned their first international medal (bronze) in 2010 NRW Trophy competition. In their first European and World Championships they placed 12th and 14th respectively.

Tobias and Stagniunas won the bronze medal at 2011 Skate America. In June 2012, they moved from Canton, Michigan to Novi, Michigan, following coach Igor Shpilband. In October 2012, Tobias submitted an application for Lithuanian citizenship, which would require an exception to the Lithuanian nationality law, in order to allow the team to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Photo: Delfi

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