MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS /. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has invited journalists to the traditional annual press conference December 19. Long since, these meetings are reasonably called ‘big’, because they gather over a thousand media representatives and last for more than 4 hours.
The record was set in 2008, when Putin was finishing his second presidential term: 4 hours 40 minutes. The record was about to be broken in 2012, when Putin became president again: 4 hours 30 minutes.
All in all, during the eight previous meetings the president spent more than a day in direct conversation with journalists: 24 hours and 59 minutes.
Even the presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov doesn’t know, for how long the head of state will be answering questions December 19. “Each time when we prepare big conferences, we time for one and a half or two hours at most, and after that the president will respond to journalists’ keen interest,” he said. Commenting on the possibility of setting a new durability record, the press secretary said: “We never plan.” The experience of all the previous big press conferences shows that the sea of raised hands wanting to ask a question does not lessen even after three or four hours. As Putin himself noted last year, “the press conference is like renovation, you cannot finish it, you can only stop it.”
According to Peskov, all Wednesday through, the head of state “entirely devoted himself to preparations for the press conference, refreshed memory about statistics data and received information from ministries and agencies”. “Putin always prepares very thoroughly for such events,” the spokesperson stressed. His words can be confirmed by everyone who has ever been at such press conference. The head of state never has to search for words. Noticeably, the prepared papers remain unopened on the table.