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City news, 09.10.2003 14:58

Vladimir Putin promises new governor Valentina Matvienko full support

Vladimir Putin meeting  Valentina Matvienko A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Saint Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko and Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Yakovlev took place at Pulkovo airport.

Mr Putin presented Ms Matvienko with a bouquet of flowers and congratulated her on becoming the new city governor. He also passed on his greetings from her former colleagues in the government and said they hope she manages to maintain good relations with the Cabinet. The president is also hoping Ms Matvienko will live up to expectations.

Mr Putin said that winning the election was just the first step but that developing the city was another matter. He said 'now you need qualified professionals.' The president is hoping that Ms Matvienko will be able to choose an administrative team. He stressed this must be done without showing any political bias that may have been caused by the election campaign. 'A sober, pragmatic approach is necessary,' Mr Putin said.

He mentioned that Ms Matvienko knows the city and has plenty of experience as she has worked as deputy chairman of the Leningrad executive committee and ambassador to two countries. She is also a former deputy prime minister.

'You will have the full support of the Russian government,' the president said in conclusion.

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(c) 2000