Motion for a resolution - B8-0251/2015Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the murder of the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the state of democracy in Russia

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

Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Ignazio Corrao, Piernicola Pedicini, Kristina Winberg, Peter Lundgren on behalf of the EFDD Group

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


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous reports and resolutions on Russia,

−      having regard to its resolution of 11 December 2013 on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2012 and the European Union’s policy on the matter[1],

−      having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 30 December 2014 on the sentencing of Alexsei Navalnyi and his brother Oleg Navalnyi by the Zamoskvoretsky Court,

−      having regard to the statement of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 4 March 2015 on the continued detention of Nadiia Savchenko,

−      having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 4 March 2015 on the abduction and continued illegal detention of the Estonian police officer,

−      having regard to the statement by the spokesperson of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 3 March on the refusal to allow MEP Sandra Kalniete to enter the territory of the Russian Federation,

−      having regard to the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 28 February 2015 on the murder of Boris Nemtsov,

−      having regard to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the UN Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

−      having regard to the EU-Russia human rights consultations of 28 November 2013,

−      having regard to the results of the Foreign Affairs Council meetings of 19 January 2015, 29 January 2015 and 9 February 2015,

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

−      having regard to the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both ratified by Russia in 1973,

−      having regard to the existing partnership and cooperation agreement (PCA) establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Russian Federation, of the other part, and the suspended negotiations for a new EU-Russia agreement,

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

A.     whereas Boris Nemtsov was a Russian liberal politician, co-chair of the Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS), a registered political party with no seats in the State Duma and with one seat at regional parliament level;

B.     whereas Boris Nemtsov was Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in the years 1997 and 1998, serving under President Boris Yeltsin; whereas he had been a political opponent and outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin since 1999, when he promoted the Union of Rightist Forces as co-founder, a liberal-democratic coalition that obtained nearly 6 million votes (8.6 % of the total vote) in the parliamentary elections of December 1999;

C.     whereas Boris Nemtsov was an active organiser of and participant in Dissenters’ Marches, Strategy 31 civil actions and rallies ‘For Fair Elections’, opposition protests organised since 2006, and whereas he was arrested in 2007, 2010 and 2011 during the demonstrations;

D.     whereas Boris Nemtsov was murdered on 27 February 2015 on a bridge close to the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, where he was walking with a woman, by an attacker in a white car who shot him several times in the back, according to the official police version;

E.     whereas the killing came a day before a planned protest by Nemtsov against President Vladimir Putin, and this event was then transformed into a march of thousands of people to honour the political leader after his murder;

F.     whereas in an interview with the Financial Times Mr Nemtsov declared that he was working on a report about Russian soldiers in Ukraine, and in another interview on the Russia’s ‘Sobesednik’ news website published on 10 February 2015 he expressed fears that he would be killed;

G.     whereas the Russian authorities have established an Investigative Committee to look into Mr Nemtsov’s murder, and this committee has listed a stream of possible suspects including ultra-nationalists, Islamist extremists, personal enemies and groups connected with politics;

H.     whereas there is no clear evidence regarding responsibility or reasons for the assassination;

I.      whereas a number of men suspected of committing the crime have been arrested, according to the head of the FSB federal security service, Alexander Bortnikov, and investigations are still in progress;

J.      whereas outside Russia, initially politicians opposed to Vladimir Putin laid suspicion on him, but the Kremlin rejected all accusations, saying that they were ‘illogical’ and ‘unacceptable’ as Mr Nemtsov did not represent a danger for the President; whereas the Kremlin has suggested that the murder may have been a ‘provocation’ aimed at destabilising the government and the state in Russia;

K.     whereas the international community has condemned the murder and called for transparent and independent investigations in order to establish the truth;

L.     whereas most probably there are political reasons behind the murder, and freedom of speech and political activity should be ensured for all in Russia, without prejudice or fear and for all citizens;

M.    whereas numerous criticisms followed the adoption of the ‘foreign agents law’, which imposes an obligation on any NGO receiving foreign funding and engaged in loosely defined ‘political activities’ to register as ‘an organisation performing the functions of a foreign agent’;

N.     whereas a federal law banning ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors’ was introduced in June 2013;

O.     whereas, as indicated in the Amnesty International report on ‘Violation of the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly in Russia’, the list of journalists attacked and killed in Russia is constantly growing;

P.     whereas both freedom of speech and respect for laws and rules should be complied with, while at the same time the Russian government does not wish to be destabilised by external actors such as third countries;

Q.     whereas relations between the EU and Russia stand in need of an easing of tension and the re-establishment of a situation of serene and peaceful collaboration;

1.      Condemns the murder of Boris Nemtsov and extends its condolences to the relatives of the victim, and to the many who participated in the march after the killing;

2.      Calls on the Russian authorities to conduct their investigations in a transparent and clear fashion in order to discover as soon as possible who killed Mr Nemtsov and establish the reasons behind this assassination;

3.      Calls on the Russian authorities to guarantee the independence and impartiality of the investigation in order to exclude any participation of persons linked to the state;

4.      Stresses the importance of guaranteeing freedom of speech and political activity, allowing people to freely express their ideas and organise events, and if necessary protests and other demonstrations, without violence, constraint, harassment or threats against organisers of or participants in demonstrations;

5.      Stresses the importance of having political opposition forces, in order to ensure a constant debate and exchange of views and ideas in politics and in lawmaking processes in Russia;

6.      Calls on the Russian Government to ensure freedom of expression, association and assembly in Russia, with respect for the free choice of individuals, regardless of their nationality, sexual orientation or political views, in accordance with international human rights law and standards and the Russian Constitution;

7.      Calls on the Russian Government to promote media freedom and pluralism and to guarantee the absence of any censorship in mass media;

8.      Condemns all forms of persecution and harassment of journalists, as well as the unsatisfactory results of investigations into past attacks;

9.      Calls on the Russian Government to promote a fair and free political debate, avoiding any kind of atmosphere of intolerance of public protests;

10.    Calls on the Russian authorities to ensure respect for the rights of all minorities and their representation in all the sectors of society, at political, social, cultural and economic level;

11.    Stresses that the European institutions and Russia should cooperate in order to re‑establish mutual respect for the movement of people and goods, together with full respect for all fundamental rights;

12.    Expresses the hope that the relations between Russia and the EU will be based on respect for human rights in a context of peace and harmony;

13.    Instruct its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation, the EEAS, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.