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Odessa Deputy Governor Gaidar Gives Up Russian Citizenship

Maria Gaidar, a Russian political activist recently appointed deputy governor of Ukraine's Odessa region, has given up her Russian citizenship, news agency Interfax reported Friday.

"I submitted an application to relinquish my Russian citizenship," Gaidar told Ukrainian television network Perviy Gorodskoi according to Interfax.

"I don't know when it will be finalized. It was just a formal procedure, I was ready for that," she said.

Under Ukrainian law, only Ukrainian citizens can hold official positions within the government. Gaidar was given a Ukrainian passport by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Aug. 4.

Former Georgian president and current governor of Odessa Mikheil Saakashvili appointed Gaidar as his deputy on July 17. At a time when tension between Moscow and Kiev over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine runs high, the appointment sparked controversy in Russia.

Gaidar is the daughter of former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar and an outspoken critic of the Kremlin. Gaidar previously served in the administration of the Kirov region, in central Russia.

In September 2014 she was disqualified on a technicality from running in the Moscow City Duma elections as part of the For Moscow opposition coalition.

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