Poland’s FM: we support civil society in Russia

At the Boris Nemtsov Forum 2019 in Warsaw, Poland’s Foreign Affairs Minister said that Poland supports Russia’s civil society and democratic processes in the country.

Leader of Russian opposition Alexei Navalny visits Warsaw

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Wednesday marks the 60 birthday of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian politician, former deputy PM, and leader of the Russian opposition in the years under Vladimir Putin’s rule. Mr Nemtsov was murdered on February 27, 2015, on the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow, near the Kremlin and Red Square.

Poland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said that Nemtsov believed in a Russia which was open to the world. He added that Mr Nemtsov paid “the highest price for his dreams, engagement, bravery, and the fight for freedom.”

“Let us remember that heroes do not die, they become role models. Boris Nemtsov will forever remain a symbol of the fight for freedom,” Mr Czaputowicz said.

“Russians want change to happen in their country… they see their fatherland among democratic states, as we in Poland once saw a free, sovereign, democratic homeland in the future,” he said.

Minister Czaputowicz also noted that before communism ended in Poland, oppositionists had thought that communist Poland and the Soviet Union were going to be there forever.

“We do support civil society and democratic processes in Russia, and also the European and Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine, we wish to broaden the space for discussion with Belarus, we strive to deepen Eastern Partnership policies and to enhance the presence of the EU in the region,” the Polish Foreign Affairs Minister added.

Alexei Navalny, chief of the Russian opposition Party of Progress, is also a guest at the Boris Nemtsov Forum 2019. The anti-Kremlin lawyer, who is also a popular blogger in Russia, explained that he came to Poland for the first time to participate in the conference.

This year’s edition’s topic is “Fighting anxiety in Russia and beyond”. The event is co-organised by the Polish Foreign Affairs Ministry.