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Putin to field questions on economy, world events at annual news conference

Peskov stressed that the international environment has become "aggressive and hostile"

MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to answer questions about the economic situation, international and regional problems at the annual news conference on Thursday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with NTV TV Channel.

"As for topics [questions for the president] certainly, this is the country’s economy and our economy amid rather unfavorable international environment," Peskov said.

Peskov stressed that the international environment has become "aggressive and hostile." "This refers not only to Russia, but the entire system of world economy, trade and economic relations is changing." However, experts cannot say where this transformation will lead to. The views are totally opposite, he noted.

Putin will also field questions on Russia’s relations with the United States, Peskov said.

The problems of Russian regions will be also in the spotlight at the news conference, according to the spokesman. Traditionally, most journalists at the event are representatives of the regions, and the regional agenda differs from the federal one.

According to Peskov, the goal of the news conference is to take advantage of the broad media representation in order to inform people about the president’s stance and his assessment on the issues, about which people worry.

After the news conference, a number of issues and the discussion on the solutions to them are usually included in the president’s decrees, Peskov said. "There are a lot of issues - ranging from particular sensitive situations to systemic problems," he explained.

In reply to a question how Putin is preparing for the news conference, Peskov said the scheduled events are still held, including the Defense Ministry’s board meeting on Tuesday, and meetings on other issues, which cannot be delayed. However, during the pauses and until late at night, the president studies a huge amount of information, which is provided by ministers, the heads of agencies and expert subdivisions of the presidential administration.