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EU lawmakers condemn killing of Nemtsov, lash Russia over deteriorating state of democracy

An elderly woman passes the place where Boris Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 8, 2015, with the Kremlin Wall and St. Basil's Cathedral are on the background. Russian news agencies said Sunday one of the suspects in the killing of Nemtsov has admitted involvement in the crime. Judge Nataliya Mushnikova said that Zaur Dadaev made a statement confirming his guilt, according to the reports. They did not specify his alleged actions. Dadaev is among five suspects detained in the Feb. 27 killing, when Nemtsov was shot while walking on a bridge near the Kremlin. Another man, Anzor Gubashev, was charged in the killing, and a hearing for three other suspects was under way, court spokeswoman Anna Fadeeva said earlier Sunday. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)

An elderly woman passes the place where Boris Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 near the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, March 8, 2015, with the Kremlin Wall and St. Basil's Cathedral are on the background. Russian news agencies said Sunday one of the suspects in the killing of Nemtsov has admitted involvement in the crime. Judge Nataliya Mushnikova said that Zaur Dadaev made a statement confirming his guilt, according to the reports. They did not specify his alleged actions. Dadaev is among five suspects detained in the Feb. 27 killing, when Nemtsov was shot while walking on a bridge near the Kremlin. Another man, Anzor Gubashev, was charged in the killing, and a hearing for three other suspects was under way, court spokeswoman Anna Fadeeva said earlier Sunday. (AP Photo/Denis Tyrin)  (The Associated Press)

European Union lawmakers have condemned the killing of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov and expressed increasing concern at worsening pressure from Moscow on opposition groups.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told the lawmakers Wednesday that "freedom of expression is under increased pressure. Opposition parties struggle to exist and have access to mainstream media."

She called for a "full and transparent investigation into the murder" of Nemtsov.

The opposition politician opposed the war in Ukraine pitting Russian-backed separatists against government troops. Nemtsov was gunned down in Moscow on Feb. 27.

The EU lawmakers are expected to adopt during their plenary session in Strasbourg on Thursday a resolution criticizing the killing and the deteriorating state of democracy in Russia.