Russia has sent a task force comprising 18 members from its special services, the Investigative Committee and the Foreign Ministry to Turkey to probe the murder of the country’s ambassador, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.
“The group will operate in Turkey to investigate the murder of Amb. Andrei Karlov. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached an agreement over the matter during a telephone conversation,’’ Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“This murder is clearly a provocation aimed at undermining the improvement and normalisation of Russian-Turkish relations as well as undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in solving this conflict in Syria.
The only response we should offer to this murder is stepping up our fight against terror. The criminals will feel the heat. The Russian investigative committee has already launched an investigation into this killing and has been tasked with forming a working group that will fly to Ankara and join Turkish colleagues investigating this murder, something we agreed on in my phone conversation with the Turkish president just now,” Putin said in a television broadcast on Monday.
“We must know who directed the killer’s hand,” Putin added.
Karlov was killed by a gunman at an art exhibition on Monday in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
The incident came ahead of a meeting between the top diplomats of Russia, Turkey and Iran on the Syrian crisis, which is scheduled for Tuesday in Moscow.