Procedure : 2015/2592(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0252/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

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

Texts adopted :


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

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))

Cristian Dan Preda, Elmar Brok, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Sandra Kalniete, Gabrielius Landsbergis, David McAllister, Tunne Kelam, Eduard Kukan, Gunnar Hökmark, Jerzy Buzek, Michael Gahler, Andrej Plenković, Jaromír Štětina, Andrey Kovatchev, Luděk Niedermayer, Michaela Šojdrová, Ivan Štefanec, Michał Boni, Jiří Pospíšil, Pavel Svoboda, Davor Ivo Stier, József Nagy on behalf of the PPE 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 its previous resolutions on Russia, in particular that of 23 October 2014 on the closing-down of the NGO ‘Memorial’(1),

–       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), Federica Mogherini, of 28 February 2015 on the murder of Boris Nemtsov,

–       having regard to the statement by the VP/HR of 4 March 2015 on the continued detention of Nadiia Savchenko,

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

–       having regard to the existing Agreement on partnership and cooperation (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 to the suspended negotiations for a new EU-Russia agreement,

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

A.     whereas Boris Nemtsov, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, the former Governor of Nizhny Novgorod and one of the leaders of Russia’s liberal and democratic opposition, was murdered two days before a demonstration which was scheduled for 1 March 2015 against the effects of the economic crisis and the conflict in Ukraine, and which he was organising; whereas in the weeks before his assassination Boris Nemtsov was investigating Russia’s participation in the Donbas conflict and had the intention of publishing a report on the issue; whereas five men have been arrested over the killing of Boris Nemtsov, but it is not clear whether any of those detained fired the fatal shots; whereas the Russian authorities did not allow some Members of the European Parliament and some national delegations to enter the Russian Federation, thereby preventing them from attending the funeral of Boris Nemtsov;

B.     whereas VP/HR Federica Mogherini stated on 28 February 2015 that ‘Boris Nemtsov was a strong advocate for a modern, prosperous and democratic Russian Federation, open to the world’;

C.     whereas the Russian Federation, as a full member of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has committed itself to the universal principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights; whereas, as a result of numerous serious violations of the rule of law and the adoption in recent years of restrictive laws which contain ambiguous provisions that are used to further restrict opposition and civil society actors and to hinder the freedoms of expression and assembly, Russia is failing to comply with its international and national obligations;

D.     whereas the human rights situation in Russia has deteriorated dramatically in recent years; whereas EU representatives are selectively banned from entering Russia for apparently arbitrary reasons; whereas the Russian authorities did not allow some Members of the European Parliament and some national delegations to enter the Russian Federation, thereby preventing them from attending the funeral of Boris Nemtsov;

E.     whereas there is an increasing need for a united, firm, coherent and comprehensive EU policy towards Russia, supported by all the Member States, with support and assistance backed up by firm and fair criticism on the basis of the universal values that both the EU and Russia have agreed to uphold;

F.     whereas on 19 February 2015 Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalnyi was sentenced to 15 days in prison for handing out leaflets to publicise a forthcoming demonstration; whereas on 30 December 2014 a court imposed a 3.5-year suspended sentence on him and a 3.5-year prison sentence on his brother, Oleg Navalnyi;

G.     whereas on 4 March 2015 a Moscow court rejected another appeal from Nadiia Savchenko against her illegal detention by the Russian Federation, lodged with reference to her immunity as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE); whereas by 4 March Ms Savchenko had been on hunger strike for 82 days, and whereas, after such an extended period of time, she faces the risk of permanent damage to her health, or death;

H.     whereas six months have passed since the abduction of Estonian police officer Eston Kohver by the Russian security services on Estonian territory, in violation of international law; whereas he continues to be illegally detained in Lefortovo prison in Moscow; whereas he is not receiving adequate legal aid, has been deprived of his right to a fair trial and has been ordered to undergo an unjustified psychiatric examination, the details of which remain unknown;

I.      whereas the European Endowment for Democracy is targeting the issue of plurality of the Russian language media, and whereas, together with its partners, it is invited to develop new media initiatives;

1.      Is deeply shocked at the killing of Boris Nemtsov in the most significant political assassination in recent Russian history, in which he was shot dead near the Kremlin, in an area equipped with video cameras and staffed with police and security services;

2.      Pays tribute to Boris Nemtsov, a prominent opposition leader, a founder and leader of the political movement Solidarnost, a leading critic of President Vladimir Putin and of the war in Ukraine, and a man of courage and conviction who stayed honest and sincere throughout his political career and committed his life to a more democratic, prosperous, open Russia and to strong partnerships between Russia and its neighbours and partners;

3.      Extends its deepest condolences to Boris Nemtsov’s family and friends, members of the opposition and the Russian people; condemns the Russian leadership’s decision to prevent some EU diplomats and national delegations from attending his funeral, thereby impeding the EU’s attempt to pay tribute to brave Russian citizens standing for universal values;

4.      Requests an independent international investigation into the murder; takes the view that the instruments available within the framework of the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the United Nations would help to ensure an impartial and fair investigation;

5.      Asks the Council, the Commission and the Member States, in framing their future policy towards Russia, to take into account the fact that the political atmosphere which the Russian authorities have created has prepared fertile ground for such murders, violence and pressure;

6.      Expresses serious concerns regarding Russia’s political regime, which is increasingly characterised by the use of oppression and terror inside its borders and the conduct of war and violence outside them;

7.      Calls on the Russian authorities to stop the shameful propaganda and information war against its neighbours, the Western world and its own people, which is turning Russia into a state characterised by terror and fear, where nationalist euphoria is built on the annexation of Crimea and an escalating war in Ukraine, and where the Kremlin is cultivating and provoking hatred and fighting; condemns the new propaganda war being waged against democratic and fundamental values, which are presented to Russian society as alien; recalls that both the European Union and the Russian Federation have committed themselves, in numerous international declarations and treaties, to protecting universal democratic values and fundamental rights;

8.      Voices deep concern about the murders and the systematic intimidation and harassment of members of the opposition, journalists and people critical of the authorities, including Anna Politkovskaia, the outspoken journalist killed in 2006 in Moscow, and Natalia Estemirova, the human rights activist abducted in Chechnya and shot in 2009, and about the continuous wave of attacks against independent human rights organisations and civil society groups in Russia; deplores the arrest of Oleksii Honcharenko, a member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and of the PACE, on 1 March 2015;

9.      Is deeply worried by Russia’s failure to observe its international legal obligations as a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the OSCE, and to uphold fundamental human rights and the rule of law; takes the view that the Russian Federation should meet the obligations to which it has signed up; deplores the fact that recent developments show that Russia has moved in a direction contrary to that of a functioning democracy, which includes respect for the opposition, the rule of law and the independence of a country’s judiciary;

10.    Calls on the Russian authorities to immediately release all political prisoners, including Oleg Navalnyi;

11.    Calls on the Russian authorities, as a matter of urgency, to release Nadiia Savchenko, a member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and of the PACE, who was kidnapped in the territory of Ukraine and is being illegally detained in a Russian jail; underlines the fact that Russia bears responsibility for her very fragile state of health;

12.    Calls for the immediate release of Estonian police officer Eston Kohver and his safe return to Estonia;

13.    Declares that true support for Russia means supporting Russian democrats fighting for dignity and a values-based Russia, who deserve our full solidarity;

14.    Invites the European Parliament to draw up a list of the human rights NGOs operating in the Russian Federation and in Crimea, which is occupied by the Russian Federation, and to support those organisations;

15.    Urges the VP/HR and the Commission to develop a stronger programme of support for Russian civil society and to seek and develop new opportunities to engage with it with the aim of promoting the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law;

16.    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 Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0039.

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