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Domestic policy, Syria events, US elections to dominate Putin’s news conference agenda

December 21, 2016, 19:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian president traditionally convenes his annual news conference in December to sum up the outgoing year’s results

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© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. Russia’s internal development, the Syrian conflict settlement and results of the US presidential election will dominate the list of questions to be addressed to President Vladimir Putin during his annual news conference on Friday, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"The top issue to be addressed traditionally concerns our internal life, our economy and the social sphere," Peskov said in an interview with Russian television channel Mir.

‘Our current conditions are complicated on the one hand, but on the other we saw the first signs of stability appearing this year," Peskov said adding that it President Putin’s of the situation during the news conference would be extremely important.

The presidential spokesman said that the issues of social security would be also in the focus of President Putin’s news conference "since Putin keeps this use under constant control."

"This is the issue, which must be addressed to first of all," Peskov said. "I believe that the major emphasis will be laid on it."

Peskov said that the international situation, particularly the military conflict settlement in war-torn Syria, would be also in the focus of Putin’s speech on Friday.

"The process of our (Russian) Armed Forces development in the context of the Syrian events will be also of interest," Peskov said. "We all know that our Russian Armed Forces are taking part in such large-scale cross-border operations for the first time over a long period and they are performing well. This is a gigantic machine, which is showing a brilliant and coherent work."

The Russian presidential spokesman also said that the recent presidential election in the United States and the relations with Ukraine could be also high among the questions to be delivered to the Russian leader.

The Russian president traditionally convenes his annual news conference in December to sum up the outgoing year’s results. The conference’s great number of participants is not the only reason why it is dubbed "grand".

The second reason is that the conference has no time limits. The shortest of these news conferences lasted for 1 hour and 33 minutes back in 2001. The 2008 news conference set the record as being the longest one, lasting for 4 hours and 40 minutes. The two recent news conferences lasted for no more than 3 hours.

Over the past few years, Putin’s news conferences have invariably been held at the International Trade Center. Russia’s major television networks, including Rossiya-1, Rossiya-24 and Channel One as well as nationwide radio stations Mayak, Vesti FM and Radio Russia will cover the news conference live on December 22. The Public Russian Television will provide sign interpretation of the live news conference.

The popularity of Putin’s news conference has been steadily growing every year. More than 500 journalists were accredited at Putin’s first annual news conference in 2001, their number jumped to 700 in 2002 and 2003 and reached almost 750 people in 2004. Nearly a decade later by 2015 that figure had nearly doubled to 1,392.

Most journalists accredited for the conference represent federal and regional media outlets. Their colleagues from Japan, the United States, China, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden and Estonia will also be present at the news conference though in smaller numbers.

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