Motion for a resolution - B8-0249/2015Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Russia, in particular the case of Boris Nemtsov

9.3.2015 - (2015/2592(RSP))

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

Charles Tannock, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Roberts Zīle, Jussi Halla‑aho, Ruža Tomašić on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0239/2015

Procedure : 2015/2592(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Russia, in particular the case of Boris Nemtsov


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2013 on the European Neighbourhood Policy: towards a strengthening of the partnership – position of the European Parliament on the 2012 reports[1],

–       having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular that of 23 October 2014 on the closing down of the NGO ‘Memorial’ (winner of the 2009 Sakharov Prize) in Russia[2],

–       having regard to the Joint Declaration of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit of 29 November 2013,

–       having regard to the Constitution of Russia, in particular Article 118 thereof, which states that justice in the Russian Federation is to be administered by courts alone, and Article 120 thereof, which provides that judges are independent and are subordinate only to the Russian Constitution and federal law,

–       having regard to the EU-Russia human rights consultations,

–       having regard to the statement by the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Lukin, of 4 March 2014 on public demonstrations in Moscow and the steps taken by the law enforcement agencies,

–       having regard to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index measures for 2014 and the perceived levels of public sector corruption in Russia,

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

A.     whereas Boris Nemtsov, a prominent figure in Russian politics and in the opposition to President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down in Moscow close to the Kremlin on 27 February 2015;

B.     whereas the assassination of Boris Nemtsov symbolises a contemptible continuance of oppression towards the political opposition in Russia, and the further degradation of the state of Russian democracy and the rule of law;

C.     whereas Nemtsov was seen as one of the Kremlin’s most hated opposition leaders and co-author of reports uncovering corruption cases and abuses of power by Vladimir Putin and those in his closest circle, and was about to publish his most recent work on the participation of Russian soldiers in the territory of Ukraine; whereas just after Nemtsov’s death, the Russian security service entered his apartment and office and secured documents and hard drives;

D.     whereas the past assassinations of President Putin’s critics Anna Politkovskaia, Aleksandr Litvinenko, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, Stanislav Markelov, Natalia Eastemirova, Sergei Iushenkov and Iurii Shchekochikhin and the death of Sergei Magnitskii narrate an unsettling story of the state of democracy in Russia;

E.     whereas the human rights situation in Russia has been deteriorating in recent years and the Russian authorities have adopted a series of laws containing ambiguous provisions which are used to place further restrictions on opposition and civil society actors and hinder the freedoms of expression and assembly;

F.     whereas the state of the judiciary in Russia is appalling, with judges lacking independence and impartiality and there being an almost complete disregard for the rights of defendants;

G.     whereas the wreckage and black boxes of the Tu-154 Polish Government airplane, which crashed near Smolensk in April 2010, killing the Polish president and prominent members of political, military and cultural circles, are still in Russia’s hands; whereas the Russian authorities refuse to return them to Poland despite numerous appeals to do so;

H.     whereas the Russian Federation, as a full member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), has committed itself to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights;

I.      whereas the Russian authorities are expanding their mass surveillance programmes, providing them with a very powerful tool which can be used to monitor and oppress opposition voices;

1.      Strongly condemns the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, and recalls that Nemtsov’s murder was yet another case of politically motivated murder in Russia, directed at silencing the critics of President Vladimir Putin and other prominent political figures of the Russian opposition;

2.      Calls for an international investigation into the murder of Boris Nemtsov, as this seems to be the only way of bringing those responsible to justice; underlines the fact that both the circumstances and the location of the murder – an area of Moscow under constant surveillance by the special security forces – indicate the involvement of highly trained professionals in the assassination;

3.      Notes the arrest of four suspects of Chechen origin announced by the Russian authorities;

4.      Calls on the Russian Government to respect the rights of all citizens to exercise their fundamental freedoms, such as the freedom of expression and opinion, the freedom of assembly and association, and universal human rights;

5.      Recalls the importance of Russia’s full compliance with its international legal obligations, as a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE, and with the fundamental human rights and the rule of law enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR);

6.      Expresses dismay at the continuing lack of progress in bringing to justice those responsible for the deaths of individuals, including Sergei Magnitskii; urges the Council to consider and respond to Parliament’s recommendation of October 2012 calling for targeted EU sanctions against those identified as responsible for Magnitskii’s death and others implicated in gross violations of human rights;

7.      Calls for the immediate release of Nadiia Savchenko and other Ukrainian and European citizens detained illegally in Russia;

8.      Urges the Russian judicial and law enforcement authorities to carry out their duties in an impartial and independent manner;

9.      Stresses that freedom of assembly in the Russian Federation is granted under Article 31 of the Russian Constitution and under the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Russia is a signatory, obliging the Russian authorities to respect it;

10.    Calls on the Russian authorities to immediately return the wreckage of the Tu-154 Polish Government airplane and all of its black boxes to Poland; underlines the fact that the level of dependence of the Russian judiciary on the authorities undermines any impartial and honest investigation; calls for an international and independent investigation into the causes of the crash of the Tu‑154 Polish Government airplane, in line with the decisions and actions taken after the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17;

11.    Calls on the Presidents of the Council and the Commission, as well as the Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to continue to closely follow all cases of politically motivated prosecution, to raise these issues in different formats and meetings with Russia, and to report back to Parliament on the exchanges with the Russian authorities;

12.    Urges the Council to develop a unified policy towards Russia that commits the 28 Member States and EU institutions to a strong common message on the role of the rule of law and human rights in the EU-Russia relationship and the need to end the crackdown on freedom of expression, assembly and association in Russia;

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.