Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today delivered remarks at the unveiling of Boris Nemtsov Plaza. Last February, Rubio introduced legislation in the Senate to rename the street in front of the Russian Embassy in honor of the slain Russian opposition leader. After the bipartisan legislation stalled in Congress, Rubio worked with the City Council of Washington, D.C. to successfully implement the initiative.
 
A transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below.  Earlier today, Rubio published an op-ed on the importance of keeping Nemtsov’s legacy alive.
 
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
Front of Russian Embassy
Washington, D.C.
February 27, 2018
Facebook Live
 
RUBIO: I want to thank everybody for the opportunity to be here today. It’s an honor to be a part of this. I am proud to stand here at the unveiling ‘Boris Nemtsov Plaza’ with my colleagues. I want to especially thank the Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmember Mary Cheh, and other members of the D.C. City Council. Thank you Vladimir and thank you Zhanna, and other members of Boris Nemtsov’s family who stand here with us as well today.
 
This street sign directly outside of the Russian embassy will serve as an enduring reminder to Vladimir Putin, to those who support him, that they cannot use murder, violence, and intimidation to silence the voices of freedom and dissent. The voices of the defenders of liberty will live on.
 
Boris Nemtsov dedicated his life to the vision of a free and democratic Russia. He was an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin and his regime’s corruption and invasion of Ukraine, which ultimately led him to the tragic fate suffered—a fate that has befallen far too many by far too many of those who dare criticize Vladimir Putin. Since his murder in 2015, Boris Nemtsov has become a symbol for so many Russians, both from Russia and abroad, for those fighting for a freedom, openness and transparent government.
 
Last February, on the second anniversary of Nemtsov’s murder, I made a commitment in the United States Senate to ensure that his legacy is never forgotten. And when this bill to rename the street could not, as far too many things cannot, find a quick way forward, we worked with the D.C. City Council. We are grateful to them for stepping forward and making this a reality.
 
I want to thank them for their extraordinary efforts. And now, one year later on the third anniversary of his murder, of this assassination, we stand here to make that sign permanent. To continue to honor Boris’ legacy, we must never stop calling out Vladimir Putin’s repressive policies in Russia, but also his continued aggression around the world. His support for war criminals, like Assad in Syria, and we must never stop speaking out or guarding ourselves against his efforts to interfere in our democratic process here in the United States and in nations across the world.
 
We must stand with the thousands of Russians who peacefully protest the rampant corruption and the illegitimate elections that his government holds. It is my hope, it is our hope, that one day the Russian people will have leaders who protect the fundamental liberties and freedoms of all their citizens, and leaders who will be very proud to have Boris Nemtsov’s name outside of their embassy here in Washington.
 
Until that day comes—and I know that day will come—we will continue to stand with those in Russia fighting for a better future—a free and prosperous future that was envisioned by Boris Nemtsov. We will continue to support that cause. We are with you and we thank you for being here today. 
 
Timeline of Rubio’s Efforts on Boris Nemtsov Plaza

January 10, 2018–Rubio Applauds DC City Council Approval of Boris Nemtsov Plaza
 
December 7, 2017–@SenRubioPress: Yesterday @councilofdc had a hearing on a bill to rename the street in front of Russia’s Embassy in memory of slain opposition leader #BorisNemtsov. Today I sat down with his daughter @ZhannaNemtsova to discuss it. You can catch the full interview Dec. 13th
 
December 6, 2017–Rubio Applauds DC City Council for Taking Up Boris Nemtsov Plaza Legislation
 
November 1, 2017–Rubio met with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Vladimir Kara-Murza, D.C. Council Chairman Mendelson and Councilmember Mary Cheh to discuss Boris Nemtsov Plaza.
 
April 13, 2017–Russian dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza says Rubio bill would be “very important reminder” to Putin regime
 
April 5, 2017–Rubio, Shaheen Call on Tillerson to Meet With Russian Civil Society Groups During Upcoming Trip
 
March 30, 2017–Rubio speaks at the Atlantic Council on human rights in Russia under Putin
 
March 30, 2017–@SenRubioPress: The street outside #Russia's embassy in DC should look like this. http://bit.ly/2nyJ5pv
 
March 15, 2017–@MarcoRubio: How to make sure the Kremlin & Vladimir Putin remember Boris Nemtsov
 
February 27, 2017–Rubio Introduces Legislation Renaming Street in Front of Russian Embassy in Honor of Assassinated Dissident
 
February 26, 2017–@SenRubioPress: Outside Russian embassy today, a message of solidarity from Sen. @marcorubio marking 2nd anniv of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov's murder.
 
February 18, 2017–Key Moments from Rubio's Hearing with Human Rights Activists
 
May 26, 2016–On Senate Floor, Rubio Calls For Release Of Political Prisoners Worldwide
 
February 28, 2015–Rubio Comments On Assassination Of Russian Opposition Leader