Chairman of the Supreme Council of Crimea (an autonomy forming part of Ukraine) Leonid Grach "warmly welcomes" the decision of President of Russia Vladimir Putin to appoint ex-Premier Viktor Chernomyrdin Ambassador of Russia to Ukraine. As he told journalists, such an appointment, if it is approved, will become "the most important strategic decision" over the past decade. In Leonid Grach's opinion, "it will determine further mutual relations of the two sovereign states and create a basis for active continuation and putting into practice of the Russian-Ukrainian dialogue the beginning of which was marked by the large-scale Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Russia and Ukraine". The chairman of the parliament of Crimea called "very important" the fact that "such a man - known worldwide and having vast practical experience of life and excellent knowledge of the economy" as Viktor Chernomyrdin will take the post of the Russian Ambassador to Ukraine. He also noted that Viktor Chernomyrdin "has always demonstrated respectful attitude to the Ukrainian state and its people, as well as friendly feelings to President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma".
On Wednesday, April 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his Address to the Federal Assembly. In the speech, Putin annually expresses his assessment of the state of affairs in the country and his vision of the main tasks for the future