MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences to the family and friends of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov and ordered to present the diplomat with state award posthumously, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
"The president held a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, director of Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin and Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov," Peskov said. "He (Putin) listened to detailed reports over the ambassador's death," he added.
"Putin expressed deep condolences to the family and friends of Karlov, whom he knew personally," Peskov said. "The president ordered to present a state award to the diplomat (posthumously) and perpetuate his memory," he noted.
"He died in the line of duty. He was a brilliant diplomat, enjoyed a very good reputation in the country of residence, had good relations both with Turkey's leadership and other political forces, was respected by them," Putin said at the meeting. The Russian president noted that "Andrey Gennadyievich was a very intellignet person, a gentle, kind person." "I know this firsthand because I knew him personally and during my last working trip to Turkey in the autumn this year, he accompanied me for the whole trip," Putin said.
"At the meeting, Putin noted that this is a provocation aimed at disrupting the process of normalization of Russian-Turkish relations and Syrian settlement," Peskov said.
The Russian president said that Moscow needs to know who is behind the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey. "The Russian Investigative Committee has already opened a criminal case over the murder. It was tasked with forming an inter-departmental working group that will go to Ankara to participate in the investigation of this crime together with Turkish partners," Putin said. He added that an agreement on this matter was reached in a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "We must know who directed the murderer's hand," the Russian leader said.
Peskov said the leaders also agreed to strengthen security at the diplomatic missions of the two countries. "Security at Turkish diplomatic missions in Russia will be strengthened," the Kremlin spokesman said. "The Russian president also ordered to receive guarantees from the Turkish side on ensuring security at Russian diplomatic missions in Turksy," Peskov added.