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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgian Minister Returns Russian Passport

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, a former Soviet diplomat, said Wednesday that he had renounced his Russian citizenship and mailed his passport to the Kremlin.

His comments followed a motion by a State Duma deputy to revoke Vashadze’s citizenship, accusing him of sowing “anti-Russian” sentiment since last year’s five-day war over breakaway South Ossetia. The Duma rejected the motion Tuesday.

“The Russian Duma is a bit late,” Vashadze told reporters, saying he had already written a letter to President Dmitry Medvedev giving up his citizenship. “I put it in an envelope with the passport and sent it. With this, my Russian citizenship is finished.”

Vashadze, 51, held dual Russian and Georgian citizenship, a fact that did not go unnoticed in Tbilisi when President Mikheil Saakashvili appointed him as foreign minister in the wake of the war with Russia.

Vashadze, husband of former Bolshoi Theater prima ballerina Nino Ananiashvili, graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations and worked in the Soviet Foreign Ministry from 1980 to 1988, according to a biography on the Georgian Foreign Ministry web site.