Tue, 21 May 2019

WASHINGTON-- U.S. lawmakers have passed a measure that sharply criticizes Vladimir Putin for what it says is the Kremlins involvement in the killing of opposition activist Boris Nemtsov and the targeting of other political opponents.

The House of Representatives passed the nonbinding resolution 416-1 on March 12.

'This resolution condemns the Kremlin's systematic targeting of its political opponents and calls on the administration to impose sanctions on those responsible for Nemtsov's murder and cover-up, Representative Eliot Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a speech before the vote.

A former deputy prime minister and charismatic opponent to Putin, Nemtsov was shot and killed in 2015 just meters from the Kremlin walls.

Russian authorities have charged five Chechen men in connection with his death, but Nemtsovs supporters have long accused officials of failing to identify and prosecute the mastermind of the killing.

The measure calls for the administration to use a 2012 human rights law known as the Magnitsky Act to investigate and target people involved in the murder, and calls on U.S. intelligence agencies to give Congress a detailed report on the matter.

The measure was one of several passed by the House on March 12 that targeted Russian policy. Another condemned Russias 2014 annexation of Ukraines Crimea Peninsula.

Another that is due to be voted later this week calls on the director of U.S. National Intelligence to submit a report on Putins financial assets.

The United States 'should do more to expose the corruption of Vladimir Putin, whose ill-gotten wealth is perhaps the most powerful global symbol of his dishonesty and his persistent efforts to undermine the rule of law and democracy in the Russian Federation, the measure said.


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