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Russia: Federation Council Rejects Duma Law On Red Square

Moscow, 11 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Russian Federation Council today rejected legislation passed earlier by the State Duma that would outlaw any changes to Moscow's Red Square.

ITAR-TASS said only 26 legislators in the Russian upper house of parliament voted in favor of the measure. The Federation Council decided, however, to form a joint commission with the Duma to possibly amend the draft legislation.

The draft law was meant to halt efforts to have the body of Lenin, founder of the Soviet state, moved from his mausoleum on Red Square and reburied next to his relatives in St. Petersburg.

Russian liberals, led by President Boris Yeltsin, have pushed to have Lenin removed from Red Square, a move that is strongly opposed by Russian communists and nationalists.

Yeltsin today again today urged that Lenin be removed, saying it was against Christian tradition to keep his embalmed body on display.