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    December 17, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 11th annual news conference at the World Trade Center on Krasnaya Presnya

    Russian President Shone Home and Abroad at Annual Press Conference

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    Vladimir Putin demonstrated "the strengths of his personality" at the annual three-hour presidential press conference this week, Fred Weir from the news organization Christian Science Monitor told Sputnik.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin gave another impressive performance at the annual three-hour question and answer session on Thursday, at which he proved able to answer even the toughest questions put to him by reporters, Christian Science Monitor correspondent Fred Weir told Radio Sputnik.

    ​"This is a format pretty much invented by him that highlights the strengths of his personality. He is really well-briefed, extremely adept and has an ability to handle questions right across the board," said Weir.

    "The format drops the barriers, at least for a few hours, between him and the Russian public and the world at large, so I think it's a very effective thing."

    While the Russian president is able discuss any subject, and do so for several hours, Weir said that the nature of the political process in the US and other Western countries means that politicians don't need to be able to carry out a similar feat.

    "They don't have to, there are distinct differences between Russian political culture and the Western one, and in the West, political processes don't select for people like that in the first place. It would be really weird for a Western politician to address all those minute detailed questions."

    The most useful aspect of the session is to hear the entirety of the president's views, said Weir: "You're getting a snapshot of his point of view, but you rarely hear anything new." 

    According to the correspondent, who has covered all 11 of the Q and A sessions, the most significant answers the president provided this year concerned the stabilization of the Russian economy, and his reiteration of the need to find a political resolution to the Syrian crisis. 

    In addition, Weir highlighted the president's statement about the necessity of resolving the status of Ukraine's southeastern region via political means, and the inclusion of Donbass representatives in the political process.

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