Newsletters / Boris Nemtsov Forum, Brussels

The Boris Nemtsov Forum in Brussels looked at ways to strengthen EU-Russia people-to-people relations. Several hundred representatives of Russian and EU civil society organisations, EU officials and MEPs took part.

Major media outlets gave the Forum extensive coverage, including Euronews, France24 and Politico.

Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, gave an opening address and summed up the aims of the Forum with one line – “Russia needs the EU and the EU needs Russia.”

In his opening remarks, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, agreed, saying that, “The vast majority of Russia’s citizens want neither to fight nor to fence themselves off from the world.”

Zhanna Nemtsova spoke eloquently about her father, saying that, “He in fact unites all of us and I’m sure his name will unite us in the future.”

Boris Nemtsov Forum

The 4 working groups of the Forum looked at some of the most pressing EU-Russia issues. Arkady Ostrovsky, Marie Mendras, John Lough, and Hrant Kostanyan, summarised the discussions, which recommended that sanctions against Russia should be more targeted, that there is a need for visa liberalisation (especially for civil society), and the EU needs to give more support towards Russian civil society.

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