Russian president`s envoy in the Privolzhye federal district Mikhail Babich, whom Moscow tried to appoint the ambassador to Ukraine, may now become the new ambassador of the Russian Federation to Turkey, Dozhd TV channel reports citing two sources close to the Kremlin.
Babich will take over the post of Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated December 19. According to the TV channel`s sources, the appointment will take place after the New Year.
”That`s the first time I hear about it,” Putin`s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, answering the question on whether the information on Babich`s appointment is true.
As Dozhd reports, the Kremlin has long wished to move Babich from the post of the presidential envoy. In the summer of 2016, he was one of the candidates to become Russian ambassador to Ukraine. However, Kyiv refused to accept him. Since then, according to the source, the question on Babich`s new job has remained open. He wanted changes, himself, the source said.
According to the source close to the Kremlin, the appointment to Turkey may mean that the role of the ambassador to this country will be upped.
As UNIAN reported earlier, on July 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin with his decree dismissed Mikhail Zurabov from post of the Russian ambassador to Ukraine. On July 29, Dmitry Peskov said Russia requested an agrement for the appointment of Mikhail Babich as Zurabov`s successor.
On August 3, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine on European Integration Olena Zerkal said that the issue of approving the candidacy of the Russian ambassador to Ukraine was not on the agenda anymore. At the same time, Director of Political Department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Oleksiy Makeyev said that the non-approval of Mikhail Babich does not mean the breach of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Russia.
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot dead in Ankara December 19, during a photo exhibit opening ceremony. Former police officer Mevlut Altintas, who had reportedly been dismissed from service after the foiled Turkey coup, fired nine shots aiming at Karlov`s back. After the killing, Altintash shouted: ”We die in Aleppo, you die here!” The shooter was later killed by police on the scene.