Putin postpones presser to attend Karlov’s funeral

Moscow, Dec 21 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed his annual press conference to attend the funeral of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, a Kremlin spokesman said on Wednesday.

Dmitry Peskov explained that Putin decided not to conduct the news conference on Thursday as the funeral for the slain ambassador was set to be held on the same day, Efe news reported.

“The President would hold the annual press conference now on December 23, instead,” Peskov said.

Following the announcement of the assassination of Karlov, Putin stressed that the crime was “without doubt a provocation aimed at spoiling the normalisation of Russo-Turkish relations”.

It was also aimed at “spoiling the Syrian peace process which is being actively pushed by Russia, Turkey, Iran and others”.

Karlov was shot while speaking at an art exhibition by an assailant identified by Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek as a 22-year-old policeman.

Karlov, 62, was named Russian envoy o Turkey in July 2013 after serving as ambassador to North Korea from 2001 to 2006.