Following the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov in Moscow late on Friday night, Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on Saturday (28 February):
I am sad and angry about the death of Boris Nemtsov. Like many people in Russia, we too are shocked by the cold‑blooded murder of this prominent opposition politician on the street in Moscow. Our sympathy goes out to his family and friends.
With Boris Nemtsov’s death, Russia has lost an experienced politician who was willing to take responsibility for his country. He spoke up publicly for his convictions and stood up against corruption and arbitrariness, even when his own liberty was curtailed as a result. This murder has now put an abrupt and cowardly end to the influence of a fearless voice. No one can remain indifferent to this. Nemtsov’s brutal death is a severe setback to all those who stand up bravely for an open society in Russia.
I welcome the announcement by the Kremlin during the night that a rigorous investigation would be carried out into Nemtsov’s murder. There is no doubt that the perpetrators of this crime must be swiftly apprehended and brought to justice in a transparent trial conducted in accordance with due process of law.