Jan. 11 (UPI) -- City officials in Washington, D.C., have unanimously approved renaming a portion of a street in front of the Russian Embassy to honor slain democracy activist Boris Nemtsov.
A statement by city council members said the move was made "on an emergency basis," and would go effect upon Mayor Muriel Bowser's approval.
The change would rename part of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the embassy to 1 Boris Nemtsov Plaza -- honoring the former deputy prime minister, a Jewish opponent of President Vladimir Putin who was assassinated near the Kremlin in 2015.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, president of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation, said passing the bill on the first reading would speed up the procedure so that Nemtsov Square could be inaugurated officially on Feb. 27, the date marking the third anniversary of Nemtsov's death.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the name change further divides the United States and Russia "at a time when the state of bilateral relations between our two countries still leaves much to be desired."