Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev says he supports the St. Petersburg regional governor for the job of upper house speaker.
Medvedev said Friday that the election of Valentina Matviyenko to the post _ the first woman to take what is considered the No. 3 position in Russian officialdom _ will help make the country more modern. A vote has yet to be set to name Matviyenko, but it's seen as a formality in the Kremlin-controlled parliament.
Matviyenko, 62-years old, has served as St. Petersburg governor since 2003. She worked as a local Communist party official in the city during Soviet times when it was called Leningrad, and also held several diplomatic and Cabinet jobs after the Soviet collapse.
She would succeed Sergei Mironov, who lost the speaker's job last month after conflict with the main pro-Kremlin party.