2006-04-21 12:31:00

Lenin's burial place should not be Russia's top priority - Gorbachev

Moscow, April 21, Interfax - Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev believes that Lenin's remains should be removed from the mausoleum and buried, but does not think that this is an urgent priority.

"It is absolutely correct to bury him. But why should we be digging graves now? The public is facing many pressing problems as it is, and some people want to aggravate the situation by raising the issue," he told Interfax on Friday.

"It was wrong from the very start to place Lenin's body in a mausoleum. Now someone is trying to distract the public from what is truly important and necessary," Gorbachev said.

He also criticized plans to restore the pantheon devoted to Stalin in Krasnoyarsk territory.

"If there really are such plans, they indicate that the country is sick, that society is sick. It shows the standard of the elite and bureaucracy that govern the nation," he said.