05:02 GMT30 October 2020
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    Putin's 2016 Annual Year-End Press Conference (72)
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday described the murder of the country’s ambassador in Ankara as an assault on Russia and its ties with Turkey.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was shot dead by off-duty Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas on Monday at the opening of an art gallery exhibition in the Turkish capital.

    "This was primarily an assault on Russia and Russian-Turkish relations. Frankly, I used to be skeptical about claims that our jet was shot down [in Syria in November 2015] without an order from Turkey’s top leadership but rather by people who wanted to damage Russian-Turkish ties," Putin said at the annual press conference.

    "But the attack on the ambassador by a special operations officer got me thinking: I feel now it is possible that destructive elements could have found their way into social structures, including the law enforcement and the army," he admitted.

    "Will this undermine the Russian-Turkish relationship? No, it won’t because we realize the importance of Russian-Turkish ties and will make every effort to deepen them," Putin vowed.

    Putin's 2016 Annual Year-End Press Conference (72)


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