01:03 GMT18 February 2020
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding his traditional 'end-of-year' press conference at the Center for International Trade (WTC) in Moscow.

    This is the fifteenth annual press conference of its kind that Vladimir Putin has held at the end of the year since 2001. This conference once again broke the record for the number of journalists accredited to attend it - 1,895 people. Last year, 1,702 members of the press gathered at the WTC. Most of the journalists who came to the president’s annual news conference are from the regional media. The list includes many members of the national and international press.

    The conference is expected to take 3-4 hours, as has been the case since 2004. In 2001, the press conference lasted only 1.5 hours. The 2008 press conference was the longest ever, at 4 hours and 40 minutes.

    The press conference will be covered live by TV Channel One, ‘Rossiya 1,’ ‘Rossiya 24’ and several radio stations.

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    • 13:26

      Putin's Annual Press Conference Wraps Up

    • 13:09

      Putin Says Russia Not Moving Toward Restricting Internet

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia is not moving toward restricting the access to the global computer network, and the concepts of free and sovereign Internet do not contradict each other, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

      "The concepts of 'free' and 'sovereign' Internet do not contradict each other, because that law pursues only one goal — to prevent negative consequences due to the possible disconnection from the global network, the control of which is largely based abroad. That’s what we are talking about, this is sovereignty — we have our own resources that can be included so that our access to the Internet is not cut off. The meaning of this law is just this, and, therefore, there are no restrictions," Putin said during his annual press conference. "We are not moving toward the closure of the Internet and are not going to do this".

      On 1 May, Putin signed into law a bill on the sustainability of the Russian segment of the Internet in case the country gets disconnected from the global network. The legislation enables Russian government agencies the opportunity to centrally administer Internet and communications networks in case of a security threat from abroad. The draft law was introduced by Russian lawmakers in response to the "aggressive" US National Cyber Strategy released last year.

       Journalists wait before the start of the Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual news conference, in Moscow, Russia
      © Sputnik / Alexander Vilf
    • 13:06

      Putin Praises Sputnik Estonia For Raising Issue of Pressure Faced in Country

      Putin believes that Tallinn must be afraid of Sputnik journalists' influence on people in Europe.

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      Earlier this week, Rossiya Segodnya International News Agency said that Sputnik Estonia employees had received letters from the country's police and Border Guard, warning them about possible criminal prosecution unless they stop working for the agency starting from 1 January.
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    • 12:46

      Russia and Japan Maintain Warm and Trusting Ties, No Agreement on Peace Treaty Yet

      "Can we look for a way forward on the Kuril issue? We can, and we are doing this together with the current Japanese leadership. We have good, trusting relations. Do we have this decision now? Not yet, but the most important thing is that we want to find this solution," Putin said in response to a question from a Japanese journalist.

    • 12:32

      Chechen Journalist Watching Press Conference on Her Smartphone - Photo

      Broadcast of the press conference of the President of the Russian Federation V. Putin
      © Sputnik / Said Tsarnaev
    • 12:30

      Putin Applauds Boris Johnson for Keenly Sensing Brexit Mood

      The UK is looking for better economic relations with Russia, Vladimir Putin stated during his annual press conference.
      He applauded Prime Minister Boris Johnson for better capturing the mood of British society on Brexit. According to Putin, Johnson is able to deliver Brexit.

    • 12:22

      Bulgarian Journalist Attempts to Give Orthodox Christian Icon to Putin as Present - Video

    • 12:13

      Journalists Exhibit Their Creativity at Putin's Annual Press Conference - Photos

      Caption: Journalists at the foyer of the Exhibition Centre where the press conference is about to begin.

    • 11:44

      Russia Remains in Touch With Libya's Haftar and Sarraj, Wants Fighting to Come to End

      MOSCOW(Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Moscow maintains contacts with both Prime Minister of Libya’s UN-backed Government of National Accord Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj and Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar who leads the Libyan National Army from the eastern-based government.

      He said he believed the best solution to the conflict in Libya would be for both sides to stop the military action and figure out who would govern the country.

       Journalists wait before the start of the Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual news conference, in Moscow, Russia
      © Sputnik / Alexander Vilf
    • 11:29

      Energy Sanctions Against Russia to Have Major Negative Impact on Global Markets - Putin

      Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to the media during his annual news conference, in Moscow, Russia.
      © Sputnik / Ilya Pitalyev

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Politically motivated economic restrictions hurt the entire global economy and international trade, therefore, countries are better off abandoning them, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday at his annual press conference.

      "It is better to abandon politically motivated restrictions on economic activities. It inflicts colossal damage upon international trade and global economy," Putin said.

    • 11:15

      Russia Believes it Pointless to Request Extradition of Murdered Militant from Germany

      Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to questions during his annual news conference, in Moscow, Russia.
      © Sputnik / Aleksandr Vilf

      Russia has not sent Germany an official request for the extradition of a militant killed in Berlin, since a discussion of this topic between the special services of the two countries showed that such a request is unlikely to be satisfied, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference.

      “Such questions have been discussed at the level of special services several times. There was really no official request through the prosecutor’s office, because our competent authorities considered this pointless, since they received, in fact, a negative answer,” the president said.

      Putin recalled that he considered the murdered person in Berlin to be “an absolute bloody killer,” who was responsible for the deaths of 98 people in the Caucasus.

    • 10:23

      Russia Ready to Extend New START Treaty By End of Year, Failure to Renew it Will Shake Global Security

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      Earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin confirmed Moscow's readiness to extend the Russian-US Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) without any conditions by the year-end.
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      Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to the media during his annual news conference, in Moscow, Russia
      © Sputnik / Ekaterina Chesnokova
    • 10:17

      US Sanctions Affect Bilateral Relations, Russia Will Respond in Kind

      The Russian president nevertheless emphasised that Russia is interested in developing and maintaining relations with the United States "regardless who is in the White House".

      "Of course, this will affect the level of our interstate relations. We know the general approach, which is that the United States will work with us where it is profitable for them, and at the same time will restrain Russia with the help of decisions of this kind. Knowing this, we, too, will act in kind, that’s all. There’s nothing good about it. These are absolutely unfriendly acts against Russia," Putin said.

      Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to the media during his annual news conference, in Moscow, Russia
      © Sputnik / Alexander Vilf
    • 10:12

      Lenin's Body Should Be Kept in Mausoleum - Putin

      "As for [Lenin's] body, I do not think we need to do anything about it, at least not for as long as we have — and we do — many people for whom it is part of their lives, their faith, certain achievements of the past Soviet years, and the Soviet Union is obviously linked to world proletariat leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. So we are better off moving ahead rather than looking back," Putin said at his annual press conference.

    • 10:00

      Gas Transit Via Ukraine to Be Preserved Despite New Pipelines, Russia Interested in Keeping This Route

    • 09:56

      Stockholm Court Ruling on Russia-Ukraine Gas Dispute "Politically Motivated" - Putin

      "We want to resolve this issue. I am sure as a lawyer that this ruling of the Stockholm arbitration is not legally, but politically motivated," Putin said during his annual press conference.

      One of the arguments in the arbitration's ruling is the difficult economic situation in Ukraine, the president recalled.

      "It's just nonsense! They could have refrained from it, but they did write it. OK, there is a ruling, it is true, and we must proceed from it — and we will. We will seek a mutually acceptable solution — including for Ukraine," he said.

    • 09:53

      Putin Denies Presence of Foreign Troops in Eastern Ukraine

      "Concerning foreign troops [in Donbass], there are no foreign troops there, there are local self defence units, including police, that are comprised of local residents," Putin said during his annual press conference.

    • 09:48

      Putin Notes Positive Changes in Ukraine Settlement, Including Kiev's Decision to Extend Law on Donbass Special Status

      The president, however, believes that Kiev's unwillingness to stand down its troops on the front line is wrong.

      Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual news conference, in Moscow, Russia
      © Sputnik / Alexander Vilf
    • 09:47

      It is Wrong to Punish All Russian Athletes for Individuals' Mistakes - Putin

      A man walks at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) venue on the eve of the Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport in Katowice, Poland, November 4, 2019.

      Putin on WADA Ban: Anti-Doping Agency Wrong to Punish All Russian Athletes for Individuals' Mistakes

      Earlier, the WADA Executive Committee decided to ban Russian athletes from participating in the Olympic Games for four years.
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    • 09:45

      Putin Declines To Say What He Thinks of Zelensky, Says It is Improper To Comment on Personalities

    • 09:26

      WADA's Decision on RUSADA Contradicts Common Sense and Int'l Law

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) ban on Russia competing in major international sports competitions was "unfair" and violated the Olympic charter.

      "Concerning WADA, I think that it not only is unfair, but also does not make sense and is illegal," Putin said during his annual press conference.

      He explained that the ban was unfair to various Russian athletes who were not involved in the doping scandal, including those who competed in the Winter 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang under a neutral flag.

      "If someone is caught doing something, then it is normal and fair to punish them. But if most of our athletes are clean, how can [WADA] sanction them for others’ actions?" Putin said.

      The president added that WADA’s ban went against the Olympic charter.

      "A country’s team should not compete under a neutral flag if there are no factual claims against the current Olympic committee," Putin said.

    • 09:14

      Putin Says Nobody Knows Reasons for Climate Change but It is Important not to Stay Idle

    • 09:08

      President Putin Takes Stage to Deliver Opening Remarks

    • 08:58

      Putin's Annual Press Conference Begins

    • 08:57

      Russian President Vladimir Putin Holds Annual Press Conference - Video

      Russia Putin Nationwide Call-in

      Russian President Vladimir Putin Holds Annual Press Conference - Video

      Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding a traditional final press conference of the year for Russian and foreign journalists.
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