Strasbourg: The European Parliament on Thursday called for an independent international investigation into the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.
Lawmakers voted in favour of a motion saying that Russia under President Vladimir Putin had created an atmosphere which was "fertile ground" for such crimes.
Nemtsov, 55, a former deputy prime minister who became an outspoken Putin critic, was shot four times in the back as he walked along a bridge near the Kremlin on February 27.
The motion "requests an independent international investigation into the murder" and suggested that the OSCE, Council of Europe and UN could play a role.
The MEPs called it the "most significant political murder in recent Russian history" and said Kremlin propaganda is turning Russia into a "state of repression, hate speech and fear".
The EU parliament further criticised Russia for refusing to allow European figures, including a senior MEP, into the country to attend Nemtsov`s funeral.
Russian authorities have rounded up five suspects for the murder but a Kremlin rights advisor said Wednesday that a key suspect likely confessed under torture.
The killing was the highest-profile murder of an opposition leader during Putin`s 15 years in charge.
Friends of Nemtsov said he had been working on a report containing what he described as proof of secret Russian military involvement in the bloody uprising by pro-Moscow militias in eastern Ukraine.