“We heard statements by our Turkish colleagues, and the Turkish president, first of all, that Hagia Sophia will be preserved and that access there will remain open. It is satisfying, ”said Peskov.

On July 10, Erdogan signed a decree on turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque and the beginning of Muslim services there.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the decision to turn the Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque as an internal affair of Turkey.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also discussed over the phone with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara’s decision to change the status of Hagia Sophia.