Soviet gymnast cannot obtain Russian citizenship during 10 years
Aman Tuleyev, Governor of Kemerovo, has addressed to the Director of the Federal Migration Service of Russia Konstantin Romodanovsky the request to assist the double Olympic champion gymnast Maria Filatova in obtaining Russian citizenship, which she is seeking for 10 years.
Also, Deputy Minister of Justice of Russia Alu Alkhanov, Nikolai Valuev, three-time Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling Alexander Karelin, and several other influential politicians asked to support Filatova.
Currently the gymnast lives in the United States, where she continues coaching. Maria Filatova went abroad in the early '90s, after two victories in the Olympics in 1976 and 1980, winning the title of European champion and wins in the World Cup. From existing documents the gymnast keeps a Soviet passport.
In 1996 she applied for the first time for Russian citizenship, but she got a formal refusal due to “the lack of services to the Russian Federation”. Head of Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovsky has also confirmed the decision of the authorities, refusing the gymnast to issue the document.
The head of the Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sport and Youth Affairs Igor Ananskikh announced its intention to help the athlete to obtain the citizenship, but he requires the appeal from Filatova, who at the moment did not contact the committee.
“We are ready to make every effort to resolve the issue. But, unfortunately, we do not have her request to the committee... I am ready, if necessary, upon her desire to sort out the situation and make every effort (to help Filatova in obtaining the citizenship)”, – quotes the agency “RIA Novosti” the words of Igor Ananskikh.