MOSCOW (Reuters)—Russian lawmaker Sergei Mironov said on Wednesday that his party had submitted a bill to parliament on holding to account anyone who denies that the 1915 killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces was a genocide.
“We have just submitted a bill on responsibility for failure to acknowledge the fact of a genocide of Armenians by Turkey in 1915,” Mironov, the leader of the opposition Just Russia party, said on his Twitter account, a day after the Turkish air force shot down a Russian jet.
In related news, Russia’s State Duma has supported the idea of returning Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia Cathedral to the Christian church, RBK reports.
Sergey Gavrilov, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) representative and coordinator of inter-faction deputy group on protecting Christian values, urged this to Turkey. “We expect from the Turkish side a friendly step—to return the Hagia Sophia Cathedral to the Christian church. The Russian side is ready to participate materially, and also to engage the best Russian restorers and scientists to the restoration of the ecumenical Christian monument. This step would help Turkey and Islam to demonstrate that the good will is above politics,” Gavrilov said.
According to the CPRF, as Russian-Turkish relations are experiencing a strength test after the downing of a Russian jet near the Syrian border, “mutual friendly initiatives and proposals are especially important.”