The murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov calls for an independent international investigation, MEPs voted in a resolution today (12 March). This is the “most significant political murder in recent Russian history”, they added, warning that Kremlin propaganda is turning Russia into a “state of repression, hate speech and fear”.
MEPs called for an independent international investigation into the murder of Nemtsov, who was gathering evidence about Russian involvement in the war in Ukraine, and was killed just two days before he was to lead a demonstration against it.
Lawmakers paid tribute to Nemtsov as someone who “committed his life to a more democratic, prosperous, open Russia, and to strong partner relationships between Russia and its neighbours”.
MEPs also deplored the fact that some MEPs and diplomats who wished to attend Nemtsov’s funeral were refused entry to Russia.
Russia is moving in a direction “contrary to a functioning democracy”, MEPs said, urging the Kremlin to stop “all pressure, repressive acts and intimidation” against opposition leaders, civil society and media and to release political prisoners, such as Ukrainian MP Nadia Savchenko and Estonian police officer Eston Kohver.
MEPs also condemned Russia’s failure to cooperate with the international investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 over Ukraine in July 2014.
Delegates expressed Parliament’s support for democratic forces in Russia and urged the EU Council to commit the 28 EU countries to a strong, unified message on human rights and on the need to end the crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly there. A stronger programme and more funding is also needed to support Russian civil society in Russia and occupied Crimea, they added.