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Lenin burial a matter of time: Gorbachev

Former President Mikhail Gorbachev says that Burial of embalmed body of Soviet state founder Vladimir Ilich Lenin is a matter of time.

world Updated: Jun 04, 2008 21:04 IST

Burial of embalmed body of Soviet state founder Vladimir Ilich Lenin is a matter of time, former President Mikhail Gorbachev said on Wednesday, even as he cautioned against haste in the sensitive issue.

Lenins embalmed body is currently kept in a red granite mausoleum at the Red Square as a Communist symbol since his death in January 1924.

In his will, Lenin had, however, wished to be buried by the side of his mother at a cemetery in St Petersburg.

"There is no need to get involved in digging graves right now, but it is a matter of time, when the mausoleum would lose its relevance and Lenin will be buried," Gorbachev said at a news conference.

The Kremlin is reported to be considering the removal of graves of outstanding revolutionaries and former Soviet leaders including Stalin and Brezhnev to a special cemetery to be created in line with the famous Arlington Cemetery in the US.

However, at the May Day rally last month the Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov had warned that Russian communists will not permit to shift the Kremlin graveyard from the Red Square.

Debates about burying are off and on since the last days of the rule of Gorbachev, who was the last president of ex-USSR.

Despite his anti-Communist stance, former president Boris Yeltsin only removed the ceremonial guards from Lenins mausoleum and left the issue of the Bolshevik leaders burial to his successors.

The Christian Orthodox Church has also urged restraint in this issue although it has been calling for a Christian burial for atheist Lenin.