Russia denied entry to Polish Senate Speaker Bogdan Borusewicz to attend the funeral of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who died instantly Friday after several shots hit him, making him the most prominent opposition figure murdered during President Vladimir Putin’s 15-year rule.
“I wanted to pay respect to the slain Boris Nemtsov and to all Russians who think like him,” said Borusewicz, a key Solidarity dissident during Poland’s years yoked to Soviet-style communism. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, also a Solidarity figure, called “difficult to understand and accept” Russia’s decision to deny Borusewicz entry, Reuters reports.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius will attend Nemtsov’s funeral. Former Foreign Minister Sandra Kalniete was to represent Latvia. However, the Latvian member of the European Parliament said on Monday that she, too, had been denied entry to Russia for the funeral.
Lithuanian politician Vygaudas Ušackas, currently serving as the European Union‘s ambassador to Russia, will represent the EU at Nemtsov’s funeral.
Putin says he has taken control of the investigation into the murder of the former deputy prime minister. The United States has called for an independent inquiry in the wake of the murder.
Nemtsov will be buried at Moscow’s Troyekurovskoye cemetery.