By Kostas Onisenko
Russian diplomacy has reiterated its recognition of Turkey’s “right” to make decisions about how Hagia Sophia will operate, following the Turkish president’s decision to convert it into a mosque.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on the radio that “as far as the Hagia Sophia is concerned, we recognize the right of Turkey and Constantinople’s authorities to set specific parameters for the use of this object, but it is beyond doubt that they should take its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site into account.
In this context, the discussion is not over yet.”
He even stressed that “our Turkish counterparts assured us that everything related to Orthodox culture will be open and accessible to visitors, tourists, pilgrims.
We will see how this measure will be implemented in practice, as technically the existing measures have not been implemented yet,” he added.