MEPs approved a resolution condemning the situation around democracy in Russia, calling Moscow to hold "free and fair elections" in December and to lift the ban on Boris Nemtsov, co-chairman of People's Freedom Party (PARNAS), leaving the country.
In the debate before the vote, MEPs spoke harshly. "Elections to the State Duma will indicate the direction in which our neighbor is moving and whether it is a democracy or an authoritarian state. So far Russia is clearly moving in the direction of a one party government", - said Jacek Kurski (Poland), representative of the Aliance of European conservatives and reformists. "Totalitarian, rather", pointed Zuzana Roithova (Czech Republic), member of the European People's Party. Several deputies urged Brussels to review cooperation with Russia concerning modernization, talks on visa-free travels and other areas if opposition parties are not on the ballot in next elections to the Duma.
Kristiina Ojuland, MP from the faction of the Liberal Democrats, suggested to add to the resolution a sentence saying that the European Parliament "regrets the introduction of a six-month ban for leaving Russia in respect of Boris Nemtsov, and calls for an immediate withdrawal of this decision." It was supported unanimously.
According to The Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), the July 5, 2011 order of the Federal Bailiff Service (FSSP) in Moscow states that the title of denial that Nemtsov was to publish by the court ruling, “did not meet the requirements of the executive document.” It should be mentioned that the court demanded to refute the words of the report that "Putin's old friends" (including Mr. Timchenko), "were nobody before Putin came to power, and now they are dollar billionaires."
Within one day, the press service of FSSP in Moscow said that no enforcement proceedings were initiated against Boris Nemtsov. Then it reported that there is a decision and it is "sent to border control agencies to the roster of persons banned to leave the territory of Russia." FSSP later reversed its decision.
Nemtsov said that Moscow was "scared of the instantaneous reaction of European Parliament": "Nobody wants to join Churov and Surkov on the list of banned from entry to Europe just because of Timchenko, who lives in Switzerland." He suggested that after the meetings "at the top" banning sanctions can re-introduced in his respect. "I am going to leave Russia", he said, calling the ban on his leaving the country a revenge for opposition activities.