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Putin upbeat about results of recent annual press conference — Kremlin

According to the spokesman, the event was more effective for the president since the press conference included not only questions by journalists but also elements of a direct line with Russian residents

MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has positively evaluated his annual press conference held on Thursday regarding the volume of questions he received from its participants, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station on Friday.

"[He evaluates it] rather positively. Positively from the point of view of the volume of questions that he [Vladimir Putin] managed to hear, that journalists managed to ask," the spokesman said in response to a corresponding question.

The Kremlin representative added that, judging by the scope of the subjects discussed, the press conference was very informative. According to him, the event was more effective for the president thanks to its unique format since the press conference included not only questions by journalists but also elements of a direct line with Russian residents.

The president has studied the bulk of questions from Russian citizens in the run-up to the annual news conference himself, Dmitry Peskov informed. "Putin got acquainted with the bulk of it [questions by citizens] himself," he said, adding that he addressed some hand-picked issues during the conference.

When asked what Putin wished to discuss during the conference that reporters omitted, Peskov mentioned the issue of gasification. He noted that Putin expected a question on this matter, but then decided to take the initiative and mention it himself.

The spokesman pointed out that while the virtual format of the press conference this year was "somewhat visibly uncomfortable" for the reporters, this did not affect the content of the event. "The content is the most important thing, not the format, and the content was at a great level," Peskov commented.

The spokesman said that all questions were interesting and informative. He noted that he decided to give an opportunity to ask Putin a question to famous Russian singer Sergei Shnurov, member of the Leningrad rock band, who came to the conference as a reporter. "It was really unusual to see him in this role," he stated. Peskov noted that Shnurov is "a decent and a smart person" whose decision to master a new profession should only be applauded.

During Putin’s marathon press conference that lasted for four hours and 29 minutes, he answered over 50 questions by journalists as well as those the call center received from residents.