Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Monday’s assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, “is undeniably a provocation aimed at derailing the normalization of Russian-Turkish relations and the peace process in Syria, which is actively promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in the settlement of the internal conflict in Syria.”
As reported, Karlov died after being shot by a gunman in Ankara, where he was attending a photo exhibition. The Russian Ambassador was shot five times in the back by a 22-year-old off-duty police officer who worked in the Turkish capital, Ankara’s mayor said. It is reported that after the cattack, the gunman waved his revolver in the air and could be heard shouting the phrase “Allahu Akbar,” as well as shouting, “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria.”
“There can be only one response – stepping up the fight against terrorism – which the criminals will find out firsthand,” Putin said in a meeting with the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin and Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov.
According to Putin, Russia’s Investigative Committee has already opened a case on the murder, and has been tasked with forming a working group which will promptly leave for Ankara to take part in the investigation of this crime together with Turkish partners.
“This was just agreed during a telephone conversation with the President of Turkey. We must find out who directed the killer’s hand,” Putin said, adding that, “Security must be tightened at Turkish diplomatic missions in Russia, the embassy, and other missions, and the Turkish side should provide assurances on security at Russian diplomatic offices in accordance with Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”
Putin said that he has requested the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to award Karlov a state decoration posthumously and to make proposals on how best to honour his memory.
In a statement, the United States’ NSC spokesperson Ned Price said, “This heinous attack on a member of the diplomatic corps is unacceptable, and we stand united with Russia and Turkey in our determination to confront terrorism in all of its forms.”