On 4 April, after three-month-long application process, Bidzina Ivanishvili was informed by the Civil Registry Agency that he cannot obtain the Georgian citizenship through naturalization.
The Civil Registry Agency stated that no citizen of a foreign country can be granted a Georgian citizenship through naturalization, and Bidzina Ivanishvili, being a French citizen, “can apply for dual citizenship”. Yet the final decision on this matter lies in hands of President Mikheil Saakashvili. If the billionaire followed the proposed procedural path, he would have to once again wait three months – a period the filed documents are officially considered.
The fight of the businessman for a Georgian passport drew interest of the US. Therefore, on 5 April, US Ambassador John Bass called on the Georgian government to reconsider the case of Ivanishvili, for “As a matter of principle … citizenship laws should be adjudicated and applied in a way that reinforces the underlying principle of equality before the law”.
Bear in mind that the billionaire renounced his Russian citizenship and is on the way to surrender the French passport. The latter, however, is conditioned on a positive reply from the Georgian Civil Registry Agency, for, according to the French law, the person who has his or her citizenship renounced, cannot become at the same time a stateless person.
Translated by KD