Comment by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov in Ankara, Moscow, December 19, 2016
This is a terrible tragedy. We are grateful to the Russians who have brought flowers at this time of night. I have received many telephone calls and internet messages. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova has also received numerous messages of condolence from Russians and requests to convey their sincere condolences to the family on the heinous murder of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has just had a telephone conversation with President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish leader telephoned to express his heartfelt condolences on this tragedy. The presidents have agreed to conduct a joint investigation into this barbaric crime. A special investigative group will go to Turkey tomorrow to join their Turkish colleagues in investigating this crime. Our main goal is to learn who stands behind this crime. As President Putin said in a telephone conversation with President Erdogan and in his televised address, we are convinced that the main objective of those who organised this barbaric crime is to hinder the normalisation of relations between Russia and Turkey in order to undermine the effective struggle against terrorism in Syria. It is a futile attempt that will not succeed.
Tomorrow we will hold a planned meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran. I have just had a telephone conversation with my Turkish colleague, Mevlut Cavusoglu, who has come to Moscow. I am convinced that we will approve measures at our meeting tomorrow to preclude the organisers of this crime from implementing their plans.
I would like to again express my deep gratitude to all Russians and to my colleagues abroad who have conveyed their condolences on this tragedy, including EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Foreign Minister of Switzerland Didier Burkhalter, Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei and UN representatives. These names are the first that come to mind, but we have received condolences from many more people. I again express my deepest gratitude to all Russians. We see and feel your solidarity.