2006-02-08 11:00:00

Majority opinion needed on whether or not to bury Lenin - Putin

Moscow, February 8, Interfax - Any decision on whether or not to bury the body of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, currently housed in a mausoleum on Moscow's Red Square, should be guided by the sentiments of the majority of Russians, President Vladimir Putin said.

"I will seek decisions that have the support of the overwhelming majority of the citizens of our country and, I would like to emphasize this again, decisions that are conducive to conciliation and to national unification rather than to schism," Putin told the Spanish media.

"I believe that, just as the Spanish suffered during the civil war some time ago, the Russian population suffered in the same way or even more from internal strife and civil confrontation. Today we should do nothing that threatens a split and instead should make every move to achieve unification and conciliation," he said.

Putin, who said he had visited the grave of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco during a trip to Spain, argued it was wrong to equate communism with fascism. "Each ideology had its own notions of justice and its own problems. It seems to me that equating the two is completely incorrect," he said.