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Excerpts from Medvedev speech at meeting with members of Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

Mausoleum on Red Square and Edge of KremlinJan 20 (Interfax) - Ex-President of the former Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev thinks that Vladimir Lenin, whose embalmed body is still on public display in the Red Square Mausoleum, will be buried sooner or later. "I think that this will eventually happen. But I am against any particular steps to force his burial now. Society will understand everything itself," Gorbachev told Interfax on Thursday.

He was commenting on a call by a State Duma deputy from United Russia, Vladimir Medinsky, who said on Thursday that "Lenin is a highly disputable political figure and his presence as the central figure in a necropolis in the heart of our country is a sheer absurdity."

Meanwhile, Chairman of the presidential Council for Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov has proposed turning Lenin's mausoleum into a museum.

The issue of whether Lenin's body should or should not be buried needs to be put to public debate, Fedotov said.

"The theme has long been hovering in the air. It's high time to lift a taboo on the issue. But lifting the taboo does not mean that Lenin's body must be reburied immediately. I am against any haste here," he said.

"I think it would be better to continue public debate on the issue. This would be of great use in terms of wiping out the remaining legacy of totalitarian rule from people's minds and from public practice," Fedotov went on.

Making the mausoleum a museum would seem more appropriate and more in tune with the spirit of tolerance and the need to preserve history, he said.

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