The Ankara prosecutor’s office has demanded aggravated life sentences for eight defendants accused of being involved in the killing of the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov in 2016. The Kremlin said on March 5 Russia wants to ensure that both masterminds and perpetrators in the murder are found and brought to justice.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told fellow conservative lawmakers that she is in favour of setting up safety zones in northern Syria, two participants at the meeting told Reuters on March 3. Similarly, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told German news agency DPA that the European states should take stronger responsibility to de-escalate tensions and pave the way for a political solution to the conflict in Syria.
The Kremlin hopes that the Russian media outlets in Turkey will not face situations similar to what Sputnik journalists experienced, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on March 2, a day after four Sputnik journalists were detained. The Journalists' Union of Turkey said the intimidation of reporters and their detention were unacceptable.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will meet in Istanbul on March 5. "President Putin has other work plans for March 5," he said. AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik commented on Kremlin's remarks, saying that a date that would suit both leaders can be worked on.
Moscow expects Ankara to ensure the safety of all Russians who work in Turkey, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "We have no doubt that the Turkish authorities will take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the Russian envoy and all embassy staff members," Peskov said. Turkish officials have reportedly increased security at the Russian Embassy in Ankara in the wake of threats addressed to Ambassador Alexey Yerkhov.
Russian Foreign Ministry has warned Turkey to refrain from provocative statements on Idlib, days after MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli directed accusations toward Moscow. "We believe that in the context of the tense situation in the northwest of Syria, it is worth exercising restraint and in particular refraining from provocative comments that do not contribute to a constructive dialogue between our countries," the ministry said.