MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the killing of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was a despicable provocation aimed at derailing the solution of the Syrian crisis.

Shortly after the assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, Putin reacted strongly and termed the attack a bid to spoiling Russia-Turkey ties.

Speaking at a special meeting in the Kremlin, he ordered security to be beefed up at Russian embassies around the world adding he wanted to know who had ‘directed’ the gunman’s hand.

“A crime has been committed and it was without doubt a provocation aimed at spoiling the normalisation of Russo-Turkish relations and spoiling the Syrian peace process which is being actively pushed by Russia, Turkey, Iran and others,” said Putin.

“There can only be one response, stepping up the fight against terrorism. The bandits will feel this happening,” he added.

Putin lauded the deceased Andrey Karlov and expressed that Moscow’s response to the murder would be robust.

The foreign and defence ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey are due to discuss the future of Syria in Moscow on Tuesday.

The Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was gunned down by an armed men on Monday night while he was visiting an art exhibition in Turkey’s capital Ankara.