Russian PM vows ‘punishment’ will follow the assassination of Karlov
AP PhotoRussian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was aimed “not only at the Russian ambassador, but also at those who are for peace and human life,” vowing that Moscow will “not allow the incident to go unpunished.”
Sharing his opinions via his official social media account, Medvedev said Karlov was shot while he was expressing Russia’s efforts for cooperation, friendship, the preservation of peace, and the fight against terror.
“Andrey Karlov’s weapon was his speech. But the killer talked in another language and this language was not acceptable for normal people whose values were protected during the lifetime of Andrey Karlov. He lost his life like a hero,” said Medvedev.
He also added that killing an ambassador was a “serious crime according to international norms,” and Moscow “would not let this go unpunished,” vowing that all who played role in the attack will pay for it.
Karlov was shot dead by a total of nine bullets fired from the gun of assailant Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, 22, who was a riot police officer stationed in Ankara. After shooting Karlov, Altıntaş stood over his body about Syria and Aleppo. He was then killed by policemen at the scene.
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement on its official website about the incident.
The statement said the attack was an act of terrorism and aimed at efforts to reach a political solution in Syria and the normalization process between Russia and Turkey. It said it expects Turkish authorities to cooperate with Russian teams in the investigation of “this barbaric crime.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier pointed out to an attempt of “provocation” in the murder of Karlov, saying that in the face of this attack Russia would fortify its fight against terror.
“The best response to be given to the attacks against the Russian ambassador is strengthening the fight against terror,” Putin added.
He also said a state medal will be granted on behalf of Karlov.
Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov, meanwhile, said Moscow will take “measures that will make it impossible for those who helped the people organizing this crime and ordering the crime to carry out their plans.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said on Dec. 20 he was unaware of any plans to temporarily close down the Russian embassy in Ankara or to evacuate Russian diplomats and their relatives from Turkey after the murder of Russia's envoy there.
Peskov also said Karlov’s murder was beneficial to those who wanted to drive a wedge between Russia and Turkey.
But the assassination would not hurt efforts to reach a peace deal in Syria, he added.