STRASBOURG: The EU on Wednesday urged a "swift and transparent inquiry" into the killing of anti-Kremlin reporter Arkady Babchenko in Ukraine, condemning it as a "cowardly crime".
The prominent Russian war correspondent and former soldier who was shot dead in Kiev on Tuesday was the latest in a series of Kremlin critics to be killed in the Ukrainian capital in the past two years.
"This cowardly crime is another attack on press freedom, against journalists who protect our values and our democracies," European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said.
"The European Parliament calls for total clarity on the death of Mr Babchenko and for those responsible to be punished, along with the people who ordered the murder."
Babchenko was shot three times in the back and died en route to hospital in a murder reminiscent of other attacks on prominent critics of Russia such as politician Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down near the Kremlin in 2015, and journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed in Moscow in 2006.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said he was "convinced that the Russian totalitarian machine" was behind Babchenko's death, though Moscow has denied any involvement.
A spokeswoman for EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini called for "a swift and transparent investigation that brings those responsible for this crime to justice".
"The European Union stands in solidarity with journalists and will continue to work to protect them and their work, which is vital to all democracies, within and beyond our borders," she said in a statement.