Procedure : 2015/2592(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0248/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 12/03/2015 - 8.4
CRE 12/03/2015 - 8.4
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

PDF 132kWORD 53k

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the murder of the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the state of democracy in Russia (2015/2592(RSP))

Merja Kyllönen, Helmut Scholz, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Patrick Le Hyaric on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the murder of the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the state of democracy in Russia (2015/2592(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas Boris Nemtsov, a Russian scientist and statesman and one of the most important liberal opposition politicians, was gunned down on a bridge next to the Kremlin in the late hours of 27 February 2015; whereas the Russian authorities said that the murder appeared to be a contract killing; whereas tens of thousands of people have participated in the march to honour the opposition politician Boris Nemtsov;

B.     whereas the adoption of new laws on the registration of political parties, NGO financing, the right of assembly, extremism, defamation and internet filtering restrictions after the increased mobilisation of civil society and mass demonstrations in 2011 and 2012 has significantly contributed to a serious deterioration in the climate as regards the development of a genuine civil society in Russia; whereas the law on ‘foreign agents’ remains a subject of special concern;

C.     whereas the situation of the extraparliamentary opposition in Russia has become extremely difficult; whereas several trials and judicial proceedings over the last few years, including the Magnitsky, Khodorkovsky and Navalny cases, and the failure to find and prosecute the murder of Anna Politkovskaya have cast doubt on the readiness of Russia’s political class and society to establish a truly democratic system in which there is a place for different political views;

1.      Strongly condemns the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, and extends its sincere condolences to his family and friends;

2.      Calls on the Russian authorities to do their utmost to bring the killers to justice; urges that the investigation be transparent, thorough and determined;

3.      Expresses its deep concern at the climate of hate and intolerance developing in many parts of Europe today, including in the Russian Federation; calls for united efforts by all responsible political forces to stop this dangerous development; stresses that restarting the constructive dialogue between the EU and Russia would be an important contribution towards this end;

4.      Stresses that there is no political aim that would justify the murder of a human being on grounds of political interests; denounces as politically irresponsible the renewed call for ‘a forceful coup in Russia’ by the liberal politician Garry Kasparov immediately after the killing of the opposition politician Boris Nemtsov; calls on all political forces to refrain from using the murder of Nemtsov for their political purposes;

5.      Criticises explicitly the current campaign by parts of the media and political actors in the EU to use the murder of Nemtsov for political purposes; recalls in this context Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights;

6.      Is deeply preoccupied by the propaganda war between Russia and Ukraine, the EU and the US and the implications for the atmosphere in the respective societies; urgently calls on the governments and parliaments to stop this propaganda war and to create the conditions for media pluralism;

7.      Deeply deplores the Russian authorities’ failure to respond to the criticism both inside the Russian Federation and on the international scene of the Law on Foreign Agents, and their adoption instead of amendments which restrict even further the possibilities for non-commercial organisations to act and are discriminatory by their nature; strongly calls on Russia to review the relevant legislation with a view to meeting its international obligations in the area of human rights and democratic freedoms;

8.      Expresses deep concern at the dramatically worsened conditions for civil society in Russia; strongly calls on the Russian Government and Parliament to reverse the current trend and to engage in promoting a critical civil society;

9.      Stresses that the Russian Federation, as a member state of the Council of Europe which has signed and ratified Protocol No 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights, is subject to a clear international obligation to ban the death penalty; is worried at the debate started by Duma deputies on a change to the Russian constitution which would allow the Russian Federation authorities to revoke obligations which are statutory under international law and to reintroduce the death penalty for so-called political crimes;

10.    Calls for an immediate end to all politically motivated acts of harassment, including at the judicial level; insists, therefore, that all civil society organisations, including their members and spokespersons, that defend human rights, promote equal rights and therefore by definition cannot be classified as racist, xenophobic or neo-fascist must be able to carry out their legitimate activities without interference;

11.    Stresses that the current EU policies against and isolation of Russia are contributing to and promoting an ideologically and politically based reinterpretation of human rights as a field of power struggle and are therefore counterproductive and should be reversed; reiterates that the Russian Federation remains a strategic partner for the EU and its Member States, especially from the viewpoint of responding to the growing number of global as well as European challenges and common efforts towards preserving world peace and detente and the prevention of a new round of arms race;

12.    Calls on the VP/HR, the Commission and the Member States to refrain from all steps which could further increase and escalate the current heated internal political situation in Russia, and to reopen all existing different channels and formats of talks for the broad political dialogue with the Russian Federation;

13.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.

Legal notice - Privacy policy