MOSCOW — One of Russia's most powerful and liberal ministers said Wednesday he lacked the heart to annul decisions signed nearly a century ago by Communist Party founder Lenin.
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said he often came across government decrees from the years between the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the 1930s reign of dictator Stalin.
"I could not lift my hand to annul this document," RIA Novosti quoted Dvorkovich -- in charge of privatisation and Russia's vital energy sector -- as telling a Moscow investment conference.
"So it still operates to this day while obviously contradicting many other state decisions," he added in reference to an arcane document that covered the operation of tiny electric power generators no longer in use today.
Dvorkovich said current legislation often referenced documents originally adopted in a different era that themselves cited material initially put in place by Lenin when he ran the new Soviet state.
One of Russia's most Western-friendly officials -- a 40-year-old schooled in the United States -- said he lacked the courage to simply scratch out Lenin's name from his country's history.
"Cancelling something signed by Lenin would be blasphemous," he said without any discernible note of irony.
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