LITHUANIAN AUTHORITIES MAY EXPEL IMPEACHED PRESIDENT'S SPONSOR

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VILNIUS, May 24 (RIA Novosti) - Lithuania's Migration Department has reportedly turned down the residence permit application from Russian businessman Yuri Borisov, the largest donor to ex-president Rolandas Paksas' election campaign last year. Borisov may now face expulsion from the country, the Letuvos Ritas newspaper reports.

Department Director Almantas Gavenas neither denied nor confirmed reports about Borisov's planned expulsion as he spoke on National Radio Monday. He said only that the businessman's application was to be considered before July, but that a final decision would be made earlier than that.

Borisov and his Kaunas-based helicopter company Avia Baltika contributed some 1.2 million litas (about 400,000 euros, on current rates) to Rolandas Paksas' election campaign, and the President granted him Lithuanian citizenship in return. Paksas resigned from office on April 6, after Parliament had voted to impeach him.

An inquiry launched by the Lithuanian Constitutional Court last December confirmed allegations that Paksas had breached the Constitution by giving Borisov privileged treatment and awarding Lithuanian citizenship to him. Borisov was then declared persona non grata, and the Migration Department ruled that he should leave the country. But the controversial Russian businessman appealed the ruling with a district court of Vilnius, and that court qualified the government agency's decision as too hasty and sent back Borisov's residence permit application for further consideration.

Migration Department officials told Letuvos Ritas Monday that they now had even more grounds than before to refuse Borisov residence permit. According to them, the National Security Department has recently declassified a document evidencing that the businessman poses a threat to Latvia's national security.

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