Putin Says Assassination Of Russian Ambassador Is Provocation Aimed At Disrupting Syria Peace Process

In a televized statement on state TV, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the "blackguard" assassination on Russia's ambassador to Turkey, who was killed by a gunman on Monday in what Russia dubbed a terrorist act, "is obviously a provocation aimed at disrupting the normalization of Russian-Turkish relations and the failure of the peace process in Syria." He added that "the answer to this can only be strengthening the fight against terror; bandits will feel it."

"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," Putin said in a statement on Monday evening.

Putin said he had discussed issue with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone, and added that Russia will send a group of investigators to Turkey, which was agreed to on the phone call. The Russian president also ordered security at Russian embassies around the world to be stepped up, and stated that he wants to know who gave the orders for the attack.

Putin said he would hold a special Kremlin meeting to discuss the murder. The "only response" to the attack that Moscow "should offer" is "stepping up the fight against terrorism," the president added.

Meanwhile, PM Medvedev said that according to international law, the assassination of an ambassador is the gravest crime and Russia will not leave it unpunished.