Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia made a special statement on Monday to call on the Turkish government to preserve Hagia Sophia's museum status, Interfax reports.

"I hope for the Turkish state leadership's good sense. The preservation of the current neutral status of Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest masterpieces of Christian culture, a cathedral that millions of Christians around the world see as a symbol, would serve to further develop relations between the peoples of Russia and Turkey and strengthen interreligious peace and accord," Patriarch Kirill said in his statement.