Bulgaria, European, US leaders condemn murder of Russian opposition politician Nemtsov

Bulgaria sharply condemns the murder of prominent Russian opposition leader and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov said on February 28.

Mitov extended Bulgaria’s sincere condolences to Nemtsov’s family and relatives.

“We expect that the Russian authorities will conduct an independent investigation and the perpetrators of this criminal act will be brought to justice,” Mitov said.

French president François Hollande condemned the murder, describing Nemtsov as a courageous and tireless defender of democracy and a fierce fighter against corruption.

A spokesperson for German chancellor Angela Merkel said that Merkel was appalled by the murder of Nemtsov.

Merkel paid tribute to the courage of Nemtsov, who had repeatedly voiced his criticism of government policy in public.

Germany conveyed condolences to Nemtsov’s family and called on Russian president Vladimir Putin to ensure that the murder investigated and the perpetrators are brought to justice.

UK prime minister David Cameron said that he was “shocked and sickened” by the callous murder of Nemtsov. “This despicable act must be fully, rapidly and transparently investigated, and those responsible brought to justice,” Cameron said.

He said that Nemtsov was a man of courage and conviction.

“His life was dedicated to speaking up tirelessly for the Russian people, to demanding their right to democracy and liberty under the rule of law, and to an end to corruption.

“He did so without fear, and never gave in to intimidation. He was greatly admired in Britain, not least by his friend Lady Thatcher, who visited him in Russia and who would have been appalled by today’s news. The courage of Nemtsov’s life contrasts with the utter cowardice of his murder.”

Cameron extended his condolences to Nemtsov’s family and friends.

“The Russian people have been deprived of a champion of their rights. Boris Nemtsov is dead. But the values he stood for will never die” Cameron said.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that she had learnt with “indignation and deep sadness” about the murder of Nemtsov.

“Boris Nemtsov was a strong advocate for modern, prosperous and democratic Russian Federation, open to the world. Our thoughts are with his family and friends and the Russian people. The EU expects the Russian authorities to conduct a full, rapid and transparent investigation into this assassination, bringing the culprits swiftly to justice,” Mogherini said.

United States president Barack Obama said that the US strongly condemns the brutal murder of Boris Nemtsov.

“We call upon the Russian government to conduct a prompt, impartial, and transparent investigation into the circumstances of his murder and ensure that those responsible for this vicious killing are brought to justice.”

Obama said that Nemtsov was a tireless advocate for his country, seeking for his fellow Russian citizens the rights to which all people are entitled.

“I admired Nemtsov’s courageous dedication to the struggle against corruption in Russia and appreciated his willingness to share his candid views with me when we met in Moscow in 2009.  We offer our sincere condolences to Boris Efimovich’s family, and to the Russian people, who have lost one of the most dedicated and eloquent defenders of their rights,” Obama said.

US secretary of state John Kerry said that he was shocked and saddened to learn of the brutal murder of Nemtsov.

“Boris Nemtsov committed his life to a more democratic, prosperous, open Russia, and to strong relationships between Russia and its neighbors and partners, including the United States. He served his country in many roles – in the federal government, in the parliament, as Governor of Nizhniy Novgorod, and as a political leader and activist,” Kerry said.

In every post, Nemtsov sought to reform and open Russia, and to empower the Russian people to have a greater say in the life of their country. His absence will be deeply felt in Russia and around the world, he said.

“The United States urges the Russian authorities to act expeditiously to investigate and bring to justice those responsible. Our thoughts are with the Russian people and with Mr. Nemtsov’s family and friends as we mourn his loss,” Kerry said.

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko called Nemtsov a “bridge between Ukraine and Russia”. “The murderers’ shot has destroyed it. I think it is not by accident,” Poroshenko said in a post on Facebook, expressing shock at the murder, and saying: “I have no doubt the killer will be punished. Sooner or later.”

(Photo: Lalekseev)



The Sofia Globe staff

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