MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a customary year-end news conference on December 19, the Kremlin’s press service has said. Accreditation for the event has been announced.
"The Presidential Press and Information Office’s Department of Accreditation and Briefings is beginning accreditation for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference," the press service announced in a news release on Friday.
The press service said that "accreditation applications will be accepted from Russian mass media having Roskomnadzor [the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media] registration and foreign journalists with Russian Foreign Ministry accreditation."
The accreditation deadline is December 5, 17:00 hours Moscow time. The accreditation procedure is to be passed only on the website www.kremlin.ru.
The forthcoming news conference will be Putin’s 15th since 2001. On all previous occasions the head of state answered media questions for several hours in a live broadcast. The event was invariably the focus of attention of mass media and the public at large.
The first news conference in 2001 was also the shortest one (1 hour and 35 minutes). The longest one in 2008 lasted for 4 hours and 40 minutes. Starting from 2004 all news conferences continued for more than three hours. The duration depends on the president.
Last year’s presidential news conference was on December 20. It lasted 3 hours and 43 minutes. Putin answered questions from 53 mass media outlets. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier described Putin’s news conferences as an unprecedented way of briefing the media and society on the current situation and the results of the outgoing year.
"There’s no stage direction involved, it’s obvious," Peskov noted.
Putin has appeared at annual news conferences each year since 2001, except for the period of his premiership of May 2008 - May 2012. He resumed the tradition of such events after his election for a six-year presidential term in 2012.