2005-10-04 14:38:00

Russian senators back plans to bury Lenin

Moscow, October 4, Interfax - The Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, supports the idea of burying Vladimir Lenin's body.

"Lenin's body should be treated humanely, in a Christian way. He should finally be buried in a good place," Federation Council Deputy Speaker Svetlana Orlova told Interfax on Tuesday.

Orlova said that Lenin should be buried in a memorial cemetery to allow "everybody who respects him and his ideas" to visit his grave. "Lenin is a part of our history. This page cannot be torn off," she said.

She disagreed that the removal of Lenin's body from the mausoleum on Red Square might provoke protests among his supporters. "These people, including members of the Communist Party, should think about Lenin's soul, which has been searching for peace for nearly a century," she said.

Federation Council Constitutional Legislation Committee chief Yury Sharandin agreed that Lenin's body could be buried "without any political consequences."

"A situation has been formed in the country in which this decisive step needs to be taken, putting aside religious and mystical issues," he said.

"Those who decided to keep Lenin in the mausoleum were guided by political considerations. Over the past decade, there has been talk of sustaining political stability in the state. This stability has come," the senator said.

Budget Committee Chairman Yevgeny Bushmin called for a cautious approach to the matter. "Removing Lenin's body from the mausoleum and burying him may split society," he said.

"Lenin's funeral will be an event of international importance, but Russia is in a position to pay for it," the senator said.