“This crime is obviously a provocation aimed at hampering the normalization of Russia-Turkey relations, as well as at derailing the peace process in Syria, which is actively mediated by Russia, Turkey and Iran,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and heads of Russian security bodies in the Kremlin. “The only response to this [crime] could be the strengthening of the fight against terrorism,” Putin stressed. Russia has announced that they will send a team of investigators to Turkey after a horrific murder of Ambassador Andrey Karlov in Ankara. This occurred after President Putin spoke on the phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both presidents agreed that the murder of the ambassador was a provocation, aimed at derailing bilateral relations between the countries as well as an attempt to stop peace negotiations on a resolution of the Syrian conflict. On Tuesday the foreign and defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran were supposed to discuss a plan of action to end the Syrian civil war which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions of refugees. The Russian military reported that the three nations are to meet in Moscow to implement UN Security Council protocols to put a stop to the violence that has torn the country apart. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has confirmed that the talks will go on as planned in spite of the assassination. Previously, Russia and Turkey negotiated a ceasefire in Aleppo to attempt to evacuate civilians caught in the crossfire from the wartorn city. Turkey told AP Monday morning that they’ve evacuated some 12,000 civilians from Aleppo. Putin also ordered the Russian Foreign Ministry to award a state award to ambassador Karlov, who was killed on Monday by a Turkish police officer. Translated from Russian, Putin said “I ask that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to posthumously present [Karlov] with the State Award so his memory may be immortalized. He died in the line of duty.” In a televised statement of his own, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said: “I tell those who want to harm our relation with Russia by this attack, you will never reach your aim.” He called the attack a clear provocation meant to damage Turkish and Russian relations. Erdoğan claimed that there will be a joint-nation investigation into the murder, and that it would not derail the ongoing negotiations between Turkey, Russia, and Iran to evacuate the beleaguered city of Aleppo.
In a televised statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara a clear provocation aimed at derailing the Syrian peace negotiations.