PM at Nemtsov murder site before Putin meet

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Matteo Renzi will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday in Moscow. Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP
09:44 CET+01:00
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday visited the Moscow bridge on which the opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was murdered, ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Renzi laid flowers at a spontaneous memorial site where Nemstov was gunned down on Friday night.

“In Moscow, in memory of Boris Nemstov,” Renzi wrote on Twitter.

The murder brought thousands of Russians to the streets and sparked global condemnation, with widespread scepticism at Putin’s stated willingness to track down the killers of one of his most prominent critics.

While Italy has come under criticism for maintaining close ties to Russia, despite Moscow’s role in the Ukraine conflict, Renzi’s visit to the memorial site aligns Rome with its European partners.

The Italian premier will today meet Dmitrij Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister, before joining Putin at the Kremlin.

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Renzi’s landed in Moscow direct from Kiev, where he met on Wednesday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

A fragile EU-brokered ceasefire between Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels is said to be holding, with hopes for an end to the conflict which has so far claimed over 6,000 lives.  

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