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New vice-governor of Ukraine's Odessa region doesn't want to renounce Russian citizenship

July 20, 2015, 12:02 UTC+3 KIEV
Maria Gaidar was appointed deputy governor of the Odessa region by Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia and the current governor of the region
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Maria Gaidar

Maria Gaidar

© TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

KIEV, July 20. /TASS/. Maria Gaidar, the new deputy governor of south Ukraine's Odessa region said she does not want to renounce her Russian citizenship.

"I don’t want to renounce Russian citizenship, but I will do what is required by the Ukrainian law," Gaidar told a press conference in Kiev.

Last week, Georgia’s former president and Odessa’s Governor Mikheil Saakashvili appointed Russian public figure Maria Gaidar as his deputy. Gaidar will be responsible for the social sphere. "She is an economist. She studied at the Academy of National Economy in Moscow and at Harvard University. I personally knew and respected her father Yegor Gaidar," Saakashvili wrote oh his Facebook page.

"She moved to Odessa and will work at our administration," the Odessa governor added noting that he will ask Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to grant Gaidar Ukrainian citizenship. Ukrainian laws, however, prohibits the country’s citizens from holding dual citizenship.

Maria Gaidar is the daughter of Yegor Gaidar, an ideologist of liberal economic reforms in Russia in the 1990s. He was Russia’s acting prime minister from April to December 1992. He also held prominent state government posts under President Boris Yeltsin.

Maria Gaidar represents the so-called "non-systemic opposition" in Russia. She is the former vice-governor of Russia’s Kirov region and the head of the Social Request foundation. In 2014, she intended to run in elections to the Moscow State Duma but was not registered as a candidate. Gaidar is an active participant in a number of liberal pro-Western movements in Russia. In 2011, she studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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