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  Monday, March 1, 2021
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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sixth annual marathon news conference has become record long, lasting over three hours 30 minutes
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s sixth annual marathon news conference has become record long, lasting over three hours 30 minutes. A total of 65 reporters asked their questions during the news conference. Last year, President Putin’s annual news conference lasted three hours 25 minutes. In the last hour of the news conference, the president did not use the help of his press secretary Alexei Gromov, and was personally giving floor to this or that reporter. This year’s news conference has a record number of accredited journalists. According to the presidential press service, 1, 232 media workers, of which 870 represent Russian and 262 foreign media outlets, have been granted accreditation to the Kremlin. Eighty reporters represents news agencies, including 13 – from Russian regions and 36 – from foreign countries, as well as 524 correspondents of newspapers and magazines, including 182 Russian regional and 81 foreign publications. Russian and foreign television channels sent 422 representatives to the Kremlin. They include 164 reporters from Russian regions and 129 central and foreign television studios as well as 70 photographers, including eight from foreign publications. Besides, 36 radio correspondents are presented at the news conference. Many media outlets are represented by the chief editors, their deputies and bureau chiefs. As a rule, President Putin doesn’t set any restrictions in terms of time or the subjects of questions asked. An interest in the presidential news conference grows from year to year. The president answered 22 questions in 2001 compared to 63 questions in January 2006. He spent three hours and 25 minutes answering questions in 2006. None of the world leaders spends so much time communicating with reporters. As a rule, preference is given to representatives of Russian regional media outlets who have few opportunities to speak to the president than their colleagues from central newspapers or television channels. The news conference is usually televised by central television channels. All Russian television channels will broadcast the news conference live for two hours. Besides, all the questions and answers will be posted on the Kremlin’s official website. The Voice of Russia radio station promises that fragments of the presidential news conference will be translated into 31 languages for listeners in 160 countries of the world. President Putin considers large news conferences to be a “good tradition” because they give an opportunity to give answers on urgent issues of internal and international politics. The experience of previous years shows most questions concern Russia’s domestic policy and slightly more than a quarter deals with international problems. Putin always welcomes several personal questions. Like in previous years, the Round Hall in the Kremlin building No. 14 has been chosen as the venue. It has 800 seats. Reporters will also have a chance to sit on the balcony.
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