President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the killing of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was a despicable provocation aimed at spoiling Russia-Turkey ties and derailing Moscow’s attempts to find, with Iran and Turkey, a solution for the Syria crisis.
In televised comments, Putin, speaking at a special meeting in the Kremlin, ordered security at Russian embassies around the world to be stepped up and said he wanted to know who had “directed” the gunman’s hand.
He heaped praise on the murdered Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov, who was shot in the back and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery, and made clear that Moscow’s response to his assassination would be robust.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he spoke to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and they both agreed the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Ankara by a gunman was an act of provocation by those looking to harm relations their countries.
In a video message broadcast on Turkish television, Erdogan said Turkey-Russia relations were vital for the region and those who aimed to harm ties were not going to achieve their goals.