The Kremlin has sent messages of indifference regarding the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque with official statements from two government ministers.
“We proceed from the fact that this is a Turkish internal affair in which neither us nor others should interfere,” Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Vershinin told reporters shortly after the announcement last week.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov further isolated Russia from the West during a radio interview in which he said that Turkey’s decision to convert the Byzantine cathedral would ultimately be better for Russian tourists.
“There were rather expensive tickets to Hagia Sophia, but now there will be no tickets, admission will be free. In this regard, our tourists will win,” Peskov said.
Greece’s Alternate Migration and Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos responded to the Russian spokesman on saying that his statement was “almost hostile,” according to Kathimerini.
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