Netrebko had applied for Austrian citizenship in order to simplify the process of traveling in the European Union. As a Russian citizen, she must go through a lengthy visa application process for every trip to Europe and is limited to a total of 180 days per year in EU countries.
Netrebko told the Times that she had changed her mind after the media and fellow musicians accused her of being unpatriotic. "Some of my fellow Mariinsky musicians would approach me and whisper dramatically, 'How could you do this?'" she said. "I am not a deserter."
She added that she had never intended to renounce her Russian citizenship. Dual citizenship between Russia and Austria is generally not permitted, but Netrebko said that authorities had agreed to make an exception in her case.
"It is not a question of being disloyal to your home country," she said. "It just helps to make our hectic and pressurized lives a little bit less stressful."