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Strengthening Russia's European Foundations

  • The ALDE Group in the European Parliament calls for an international investigation into Boris Nemtsov’s murder. (Photo: ALDE Group)

A year after the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group in the European Parliament hosted a series of events on Tuesday (1 March) to commemorate Nemtsov's fight for a free and democratic Russia and to look at future prospects for stronger relations between the EU and Russia.

Representatives of the Russian democratic opposition, including opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov, the daughter of Boris Nemtsov, Zhanna, and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny, along with president of the ALDE Group, Guy Verhofstadt, and former president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Anne Brasseur, and numerous other political leaders, discussed prospects for a democratic Russia.

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"We have come together today to mourn the loss of Boris Nemtsov and take forward his campaign for a freer and more democratic Russia. One year on from his death, many questions about his murder remain unanswered," said Verhofstadt.

He called for an international investigation into Nemtsov's murder and more "stringent, targeted sanctions against those individuals who put Boris Nemtsov on a hit list last year and are now doing the same to Mikhail Kasyanov".

President of the ALDE party, Hans van Baalen, called for support of democrats in Russia and reminded people that "Russians are not the enemy, regime is."

The day ended with a rock concert at the Bozar arts centre with Russian artists, Televizor, Vasya Oblomov and Centre, as well as Belgian pop duo Vive la Fete. The night's performances featured songs like Forgive Us Ukraine and Your Daddy is a Fascist.

Federal parliamentary elections will be held in Russia on 18 September. At stake are the 450 seats in the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia.

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