There are many who believe that Russia’s negative stance on the issue of Hagia Sophia is due to the autocephaly granted to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Among them, there are some hierarchs and some others who have linked the course of the country with several prophecies and dreams.
And yet this whole theory has nothing to do with reality. Vladimir Putin got Turkey into the game of the major powers in Syria and Libya. In both cases, the two countries were in opposite camps but at the same time, they were friends and allies…They had common positions even on the Skopje issue and the Prespa agreement.
This is a simple matter: Russia wants to challenge NATO with the assistance of Turkey. Putin was never interested in the Orthodox Church. On the contrary, he was interested in how the Moscow Patriarchate would be imposed on the other Churches.
Moreover, he even tried to create problems on Mount Athos, before the issue of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine arose. He had also created problems at the Pan-Orthodox Synod in Crete. Russia is not going to give up the dream of becoming the leading power of the Orthodox. The Moscow Patriarchate is also seeking to increase its influence as Putin gives it more power and financial support.
The case of Hagia Sophia is not an issue which Russia can be indifferent to. In essence, Putin supports Erdogan, while the Moscow Patriarchate tries to keep up appearances in order not to be criticised by the Christian world. He will maybe take some “actions” to avoid the monument from being “damaged”. All that is just words, but, in the background, it seems that there are malicious second thoughts…