The Federation Council made a "weighty contribution" to the effort to strengthen Russia's legislative base, says Russian President Vladimir Putin's New Year congratulation to the upper house of the Russian parliament, which the president's representative to the Federation Council Vyacheslav Khizhnyakov read out to senators on Wednesday. In his message, Putin recalled that the year 2001 was, for the Federation Council, a transit year, "which made it a difficult one." It was the year when the parliament's upper house was fully reformed. "This reform turned out constructive thanks to the experience of Federation Council members," stressed the president. He also thanked senators for constructive cooperation and said he was looking forward to "furthering this cooperation in the year to come."