World Bulletin / News Desk
"In the meantime it requires a serious effort to bring them [relations] to a higher level," Yerkhov told Ankara representatives of various media groups, including Anadolu Agency Editor-in-Chief Metin Mutanoglu, who met the diplomat at the Russian embassy in the Turkish capital earlier this week.
The newly appointed ambassador, previously the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Crisis Management Center, replaces Andrey Karlov, who was assassinated at an art exhibition in Ankara on Dec. 19 last year.
Karlov had been delivering a speech at the opening of an art gallery when a gunman shot him several times.
Turkish-Russian relations were tested after Karlov's assassination. However, Russian leader Vladimir Putin described the shooting as a "provocation" designed to undermine ties with Turkey.
Yerkhov insisted political dialogue between Russia and Turkey was growing.
"I am talking about the communication between our senior management. Phone discussions between Russia’s president [Vladimir Putin] and Turkey’s president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] have gained significant momentum recently," he added
Yerkhov said Karlov’s killing had left both the Russian Foreign Ministry and the public in deep sorrow.
"We know that the investigation carried out by Turkey continues. We know that the institutions conducting the investigation in Russia are in intensive contact with their Turkish counterparts.
"We are sure that after completing the investigation, the results will be shared with the public and the Turkish people," Yerkhov said.
He also said Moscow appreciated Turkey's steps to immortalize Karlov's memory.
Ankara renamed Karyagdi Street in Cankaya district, where the Russian embassy is located, after Karlov.
Yerkhov also served as Russia’s consul general in Istanbul between 2009 and 2015.
"During my six years of service, of course I had difficult and beautiful times, but these six years were the happiest years of my life," he said.
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