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Lavrov says ambassador’s murder aimed at disrupting normalisation of Russian-Turkish ties

Update: December, 20/2016 - 11:40
A woman pay their respects laying flowers near a picture of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov outside the Russian foreign ministry in Moscow, Russia on Monday. Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, has been shot at an art exhibition in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Karlov has died of his wounds after the attack, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed. — EPA Photo
Viet Nam News

MOSCOW — The main aim of assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey is the desire to undermine the process of normalisation of Russian-Turkish relations and to prevent effective fight of the two countries against terrorism in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with NTV channel.

"We are confident that the main aim of those who plotted this barbaric thing was to undermine the process of normalisation of relations between Russia and Turkey in order to prevent effective fight against terrorism in Syria," Lavrov said.

Organisers of the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrei Karlov will not succeed in undermining the process of normalising Russian-Turkich relations, Lavrov said in a commentary published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official website on Tuesday.

"This aim is with bad means. It will not go through," Lavrov said.

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, who had been invited to the opening ceremony of the exhibition Russia Through Turks’ Eyes in Ankara, was shot on Monday during an attack and later died in a hospital of the sustained wounds.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu identified the attacker as Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, who had worked in the Ankara anti-riot police for the last two and a half years.

His mother, father and sister were reportedly detained for questioning in their home in western Turkey.

Three other people were injured on the scene. A source in the Russian Embassy in Ankara told TASS that there were no Russians among those injured.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Moscow must know for sure who was behind the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov.

"Russia’s Investigative Committee has already opened a criminal case on this assassination. It has been instructed to set up a working group that is to go to Ankara to take part in the probe into this crime together with the Turkish partners," he said at a meeting in the Kremlin. 

"Karlov died as a soldier. He was an illustrious diplomat, enjoying a very good reputation in the country of his mission, he had good relations with the leadership of Turkey as well as with other political forces that respected him," the Russian president recalled.

According to Putin, an agreement to this effect was reached during his telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"We must know how steered the killer’s course," Putin stressed.

Putin called to enhance security measures at Russian diplomatic missions in Turkey. He stressed the necessity to "have the Turkish side’s guarantees of security of Russian diplomatic mission under the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations."

He demanded participants in the meeting "make coordinated proposals on enhancing security measures at Russian diplomatic missions abroad." 

Russia will step up further its efforts fighting global terrorism as it is the only answer to the assassination of Andrei Karlov, Putin stressed.

"A crime has been committed and it was undoubtedly a provocation aimed to undermine the revitalisation of the Russian and Turkish relations as well as to disrupt the Syrian conflict peaceful settlement process promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries, which are interested in the resolution of the Syria situation," Putin said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan echoed Putin’s comments, saying the killing was aimed at wrecking a normalisation process that had taken root after a crisis sparked when Turkey shot down a Russian plane over Syria.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday said he was "appalled by this senseless act of terror", while US President-elect Donald Trump condemned the killing, calling the gunman a "radical Islamic terrorist". — TASS/AFP


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