St. Petersburg governor to discuss job offer with Medvedev

St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko has said she will meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday to discuss the offer of a job as upper house speaker.

“Tomorrow I will be meeting with Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev]. I will seek his counsel,” she said on Monday.

Medvedev said on Friday he supported Matviyenko’s candidacy for the post.

The post of the Federation Council’s speaker has been vacant since May 18 when previous speaker Sergei Mironov was removed. Mironov had taken flak from the ruling United Russia party for his criticism of Matviyenko.

Rustem Khamitov, the head of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, proposed Matviyenko for house speaker and a number of Russian governors supported the idea.

Some analysts see the plan as a graceful way of “getting rid of a bad apple” by kicking her upstairs to a figurehead role with no real clout, where she “can do no more harm.”

Matviyenko – Russia’s leading female political heavyweight – has been the governor of St. Petersburg since 2003 and her term expires later this year.

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