The shooting of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey is “clearly a provocation” aimed at undermining Russian-Turkish relations and the settling of the Syrian crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his first comments since the tragic events in Ankara.
Putin said in a statement on Monday evening…
“He [Karlov] was killed while performing his duties.”
“This murder is clearly a provocation aimed at undermining the improvement and normalization of Russian-Turkish relations, as well as undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in settling the conflict in Syria.”
“The only response we should offer to this murder is stepping up our fight against terrorism.
“The criminals will feel the heat.”
“We have to know who organized the killing and who gave orders to the assassin.”
Saying that ambassador Andrey Karlov “was a brilliant diplomat, widely respected in the country where he was posted,” the president added the Russian diplomat “was in good standing with both the government of Turkey and other political groups in that country.”
Russia’s Investigative Committee has already launched an investigation into the murder, Putin said in his statement, adding that he had held a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the matter. Russian and Turkish officials will cooperate, Putin added.
Putin also ordered security to be strengthened at Russia’s diplomatic missions abroad, as well as Turkish missions in Russia.
Saying that he knew Karlov personally, and calling him a “kind man,” the president tasked officials with awarding the assassinated ambassador posthumously and initiating a memorial for him.