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Putin plans to hold 2021 annual press conference, says Kremlin spokesman

We will decide on the format depending on the epidemiological situation, Dmitry Peskov stated

MOSCOW, October 21. / TASS /. Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to hold the customary year-end news conference.

"[The president’s] annual press conference is scheduled to take place," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS.

"We will decide on the format depending on the epidemiological situation," Peskov stated.

Putin’s year-end news conferences began to be held in 2001. There followed an interval from May 2008 to May 2012, when he held the prime minister’s seat. After Putin’s election for a six year-term in 2012 the practice of such events was resumed.

In December 2020, the annual press conference’s format underwent changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some journalists went to the president’s countryside residence in Novo-Ogaryovo to take part in the conference, while others communicated with Putin via video linkup from the World Trade Center in Moscow. Furthermore, last year, the Russians had an opportunity to ask questions along with the journalists. Thus, the conference incorporated some features of the Direct Line.

Putin’s first news conference in 2001 was also the shortest one (one hour and 35 minutes), while the longest so far (four hours and 40 minutes) took place in 2008. Starting from 2004 all of Putin’s news conferences at the end of the year lasted for no less than three hours.

More than 500 journalists were accredited at Putin’s first news conference in 2001. Later, the audience at the annual event grew bigger steadily for several years, from about 700 in 2002 and 2003 to 1,364 in 2008. All news conferences during Putin’s third presidential term attracted no less than 1,250 correspondents.