Today, in the heart of St.Petersburg, at the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the remains of the last Russian emperor, members of his family and servants will be returned to the earth.
The souls those whom we now bid farewell will at last be laid to rest.
The last Russian emperor was destined a bitter road of earthly cares and earthly sins, a tragic death, and many centuries in an unmarked grave.
Today we perform a simple human duty: we enshrine the remains of these victims in the presence of close relatives.
We speak of the ethical dilemmas faced by the present generation: the harsh truth of history has been revealed to us, and we have been forced to recognize this truth and judge the events of the past, taking upon ourselves great civil and moral responsibilities.
This point is indisputable. But we have also been faced with another trial: it has not been easy to cast ideological dogma and political ambitions aside and simply and humanely carry out the customary burial rite.
I would like to repeat: we do nothing more than carry out a moral obligation not only to the past, but to the future.
We must fulfill this duty. Otherwise, the spiritual turmoil plaguing us will be inherited by our children. Today we lift the dark pall from their souls as well.
No form of ideology, and not even the loftiest goals can ever justify murder, civil war, or any conflict between men. Human life is the most priceless of treasures.
I am convinced that such a moral stance will impart us and our children with strength, will fill us with the certainty that each individual must learn tolerance, that the only true path for us is the path leading to harmony and reconciliation.
In the midst of their forebears, and in the presence of their descendants, those individuals who were forced in life to trod a path fraught with hardship and paradox, as well as those innocent children of the imperial family whose lives had been so short, will finally gain eternal peace.
They will share their grave with those who did not bear the Romanov family name, but as a result of their love, loyalty and dedication to the royal family remained with them to the bitter end, and shared their final hours.
This marls the end of one of the most tragic and paradoxical chapters in Russian history. A great city, that eternal monument to all who served Russia, receives the remains of the last Russian emperor, his family and servants with these sincere words:
"May you rest in peace!"