MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has unveiled a memorial plaque dedicated to Hero of Russia, late Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, who was killed by a terrorist in Ankara on December 19, 2016, a TASS correspondent reported.
"Ambassador Karlov was a colleague and a close friend, he was one of the best of our diplomats," Lavrov said at the unveiling ceremony. "Shortly before his death, we visited Turkey, Andrey was receiving the Russian president, and his dedicated activities, high professional skills and the ability to give his service to the country above everything else were highly praised," he added. "At the same time, he always remained humane, compassionate, kind and well-meaning, he was always ready to help. It is no wonder that he was actually a mentor for numerous diplomats who still remember him fondly, since he was the one who gave them a start in life," the Russian top diplomat pointed out.
According to Lavrov, Karlov made an important contribution to all the fields he worked in. "The areas where he worked include Korea, where he made a significant contribution to the process of promoting relations in the right direction. Unfortunately, this direction has been lost to a certain extent… Over the past years, he did a lot of work in Turkey, putting in great effort to cultivate our relations with this most important neighbor," Lavrov emphasized.
"Andrey died in the line of duty and we will never forget him. Today’s ceremony is just another step to his memorialization," the Russian foreign ministry noted.
Ambassador Karlov’s widow Marina, his mother Maria and son Gennady attended the ceremony for the memorial plaque unveiling. After the speeches were over, the foreign minister and other participants laid flowers by the plaque.
The memorial plaque created by Russia’s renowned sculptor Alexander Rukavishnikov was placed at 24 Petrozavodskaya Street, where Karlov lived in 2011-2016. The plaque, measuring two by two meters, features the late diplomat pictured against a grove of trees by a river.
Tuesday marks the first anniversary of the death of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov. He was gunned down on December 19, 2016, while delivering a speech at a photo exhibition. The attacker, an off-duty police officer named Mevlut Mert Altintas, was immediately killed by security forces. Russia’s Foreign Ministry officially declared the ambassador’s murder a terrorist attack, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case labeling Karlov’s assassination an act of international terrorism. Andrey Karlov was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Russia.