Russian and foreign diplomats as well as experts are outraged by the assassination of Russian Ambassaor to Turkey Andrei Karlov.
The Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was killed at the gallery in Ankara, Dec. 19, 2016. Photo: AP
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov has died of wounds shortly after he got attacked in Ankara, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Dec. 19.
"We qualify the events as a terrorist attack, we stay in contact with Turkish officials who have pledged that a thorough all-round investigation will be carried out. The attackers will be punished," she said. "Today this issue will be brought up at the UN Security Council."
"Terrorism will not pass, we will take resolute efforts against it," Zakharova highlighted. "The memory of the outstanding Russian diplomat, the man who has done much to counter terrorism, Andrei Karlov, will always stay in our hearts. The Russian foreign ministry will issue a relevant statement later on Monday."
Russia's President Vladimir Putin described the killing of his ambassador in Turkey as a "provocation" aimed at spoiling Russia-Turkey relations, and hampering the Syria peace process.
At the same time, Andrei Kortunov, the general director of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), said that the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was very popular in the country of his diplomatic residence.
“It was clear that the Russian Ambassador was well-known, with his opinion taken into account,” Kortunov wrote in his blog at the RIAC website pointing out that Karlov did his best to resolve the challenges in the Russian-Turkish relations and foster more opportunities for bilateral cooperation, ranging from oil and gas sector, atomic energy to culture and education.
Ironically, Karlov was assassinated during the photo exhibition in the Center of Modern Art, the very place that is supposed to bolster soft power.
Regardless of the egregious impudence of the assassination, it should not affect Moscow-Ankara relations, said Kortunov. He described the incident as “cowardly” and “villainous” while expressing hopes that it won't hamper the reinvigorated multifaceted dialogue between Russia and Turkey, “the very scrupulous and not always visible work, conducted on the daily basis by our diplomats, businessmen, scientists, representatives of art and culture and just passionate citizens of our countries.”
At the same time, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and Stanford Professor Michael McFaul expressed his deep regrets about the assassination of the Russian diplomat.
“I am saddened and outraged by the assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov,” he wrote on his facebook page. “There is no excuse for this terrorist act.”
Meanwhile, Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign relations committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, said that a such large-scale tragedy has not happened since the time of the assassination of diplomat Alexander Griboyedov in Persia, who was also well-known as Russia’s prominent poet and writer of the 19th century. He was killed at the Russian embassy by Persian mob.
“There have been attacks on our Russian and Soviet diplomats, but not something this dramatic,” said Kosachev pointing out that the implications of the killing on Russian-Turkish relations would depend on the details of the incident.
“It could have been a planned terrorist attack by extremists or it could be the work of a lone maniac,” he said. “After we know, we’ll be able to understand how this will affect Russian-Turkish relations.”
At the same time, Kosachev’s counterpart in the lower house, Alexey Pushkov, said Karlov’s death was a result of political and media buzz around Aleppo.
The Russian ambassador to Turkey has been shot dead by a police officer who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” as he pulled the trigger. “Don’t forget Syria,” the assassinator added. “Unless our towns are secure, you won’t enjoy security. Only death can take me from here. Everyone who is involved in this suffering will pay a price.”
The assassination on Monday evening took place amidst the Russian military involvement in the Syrian civil war, which was met with an outcry in some Middle Eastern countries.