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Putin Calls Ambassador Murder Provocation Aimed at Derailing Syria Negotiations

In a televised statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara a clear provocation aimed at derailing the Syrian peace negotiations.

"This crime is obviously a provocation aimed at hampering the normalization of Russia-Turkey relations, as well as at derailing the peace process in Syria, which is actively mediated by Russia, Turkey and Iran," Putin said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and heads of Russian security bodies in the Kremlin.

"The only response to this [crime] could be the strengthening of the fight against terrorism," Putin stressed, according to Sputnik.

 Russia has announced that they will send a team of investigators to Turkey after the horrific murder of Ambassador Andrey Karlov in Ankara. This occurred after President Putin spoke on the phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both presidents agreed that the murder of the ambassador was a provocation, aimed at derailing bilateral relations between the countries as well as an attempt to stop peace negotiations on a resolution of the crisis in Syria.

Putin also ordered the Russian Foreign Ministry to award a state award to ambassador Karlov, who was killed on Monday by a Turkish police officer. Translated from Russian, Putin said "I ask that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to posthumously present [Karlov] with the State Award so his memory may be immortalized. He died in the line of duty."