Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday he supports the proposed candidacy of St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko for the post of the speaker of the Russian parliament's upper house.
The post of the Federation Council's speaker has been vacant since May 18 when previous speaker Sergei Mironov was removed. Mironov had come under fire from the ruling United Russia party for his criticism of Matviyenko.
Rustem Khamitov, the head of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, proposed Matviyenko's candidacy for the speaker of the Federation Council and a number of Russian governors supported the idea.
"I like this idea and may say that Valentina Matviyenko is a person with vast administrative experience," Medvedev said.
"If one of the central positions in the state hierarchy is occupied by a woman it would make the government more modern and contribute to its development," the president added.
Matviyenko said on Friday she was undecided about whether to accept the post and would make a decision next week.
Matviyenko, born in 1949, has been the governor of St. Petersburg since 2003 and her term expires in 2011.
Some analysts see the Mironov case as a move by the Kremlin to cast him as an opposition figure who might subsequently head a "controlled opposition" to lend greater legitimacy to next year's presidential elections.