Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual marathon end-of-year press convention on Friday. And it wasn’t simply Russians watching.
Putin took questions for nearly 4 hours in a room with 1,400 journalists and the entire world was listening to see what Putin would say a few yr that noticed his world affect develop to a brand new scale.
Putin spoke off the cuff all the time, spitting out numbers in regards to the Russian financial system from the highest of his head — a reality celebrated by some Russian media, a lot of which is sympathetic to Putin, as an indication of his statesmanship.
At occasions, he coughed a bit, however nonetheless stored going.
In the long run, he completed simply 46 minutes behind his report, set in 2008, when he managed to talk for 4 hours and 40 minutes.
The press convention is televised on a number of Russian TV and radio stations and watched broadly throughout the nation. Putin does sometimes maintain different press conferences over the course of the yr, however this one offers a singular likelihood for native journalists from remote areas to ask him questions.
Doing so is just not at all times simple — the room is packed and the reporters attempt onerous to catch his consideration. Many are waving home-made posters and indicators.
One such banner confirmed a photograph of Putin alongside Donald Trump and the French righ-wing politician Marine Le Pen. One other depicted the president as Superman.
Not all the reporters current are so supportive of Putin. Although the federal government has cracked down on opposition journalists and their retailers, some reporters who’re much less sympathetic to him are invited too. A pair harder questions have been directed at Putin on Friday — however he largely gave obscure solutions.
Putin answered almost 50 questions through the marathon press convention. He addressed lots of Russia’s most urgent points.
He spoke in regards to the nuclear arms program, and about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s recent comments about the U.S.’ own arsenal. He was upbeat on the financial system, saying Russia will return to development subsequent yr. He spoke about oil costs, saying they’ll hopefully go up. He congratulated Russia’s farmers on profitable harvest.
Answering a couple of questions from the worldwide press, Putin mentioned Russia’s relationship with the U.S. “cannot be worse” and dismissed accusations that he was personally concerned within the hacking of the Democratic National Committee forward of the U.S. presidential election as an indication of the Democrats being sore losers.
After the 2 hour mark, the press convention slipped at occasions into more odd territory, as lots of the smaller publications obtained their likelihood to ask questions.
Putin spoke in regards to the recreation of chess, commented on the recognition of kvas, a conventional Russian drink, and provided his views on the studying habits of Russian kids.
Putin’s 12th annual press convention was initially scheduled for Thursday, however it was postponed due to the funeral of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, who was assassinated on Monday.
Requested about whether or not he plans to run once more in Russia’s 2018 presidential election, he mentioned he’ll contemplate the state of Russia and the world at the moment, have a look at what he has achieved, after which determine whether or not to pursue one other time period.
CNNMoney (London) First revealed December 23, 2016: 11:09 AM ET