09:46 GMT21 January 2021
Listen Live
    Russia
    Get short URL
    by
    0 50
    Subscribe

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual press conference, which kicks off at 12:00 p.m. Moscow time (09:00 GMT), will be held in an online format due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    A whole array of pressing issues is expected to be touched upon as Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak from his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo during his annual press conference later on Thursday.

    Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the press conference is being held in an online format, and only 247 journalists will be allowed to enter the Moscow World Trade Centre to cover the event, as compared to the 1,895 reporters that gathered there last year.

    The new format envisages tight health security-related measures, such as social distancing along with face coverings for journalists.

    The Russian president is due to answer both online questions and those already submitted through the website Moskva-Putinu.ru, launched earlier this month.

    The press conference's call centre began to operate on 6 December, with scores of questions on various topics already processed by volunteers from the All-Russian Popular Front.

    Pensions and Salaries

    It appears that this year, Russians are most concerned about social issues, pertaining to preferential mortgage, pensions, and food prices, among other things.

    The volunteers additionally received lots of questions about salaries, benefits, and housing, as well as the situation surrounding COVID-19. Many are interested in where and how they can be vaccinated, with parents of schoolchildren expressing alarm over remote learning.

    Nagorno-Karabakh, US Elections, Belarus

    Apart from internal issues, President Putin is expected to answer a spate of questions related to international affairs, including the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where Armenia and Azerbaijan were involved in a bloody conflict.

    An Azerbaijani soldier stands guard at a checkpoint on a road entering Fizuli from Hadrut on December 2, 2020, a day after Baku's army entered the final district given up by Armenia under a peace deal that ended weeks of fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
    © AFP 2020 / STRINGER
    An Azerbaijani soldier stands guard at a checkpoint on a road entering Fizuli from Hadrut on December 2, 2020, a day after Baku's army entered the final district given up by Armenia under a peace deal that ended weeks of fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

    The bloodshed ended last month, when the sides concluded a ceasefire deal brokered by Russia, stipulating the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the area.

    The political turmoil in the US over the results of the 3 November presidential election is also expected to be on the agenda as Putin has already congratulated Joe Biden on his victory, while incumbent President Donald Trump has so far refused to concede, citing alleged voter fraud.

    Separately, the press conference will almost certainly see a raft of questions pertaining to the situation in Belarus, where protest rallies against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko show no signs of abating.

    The press conference kicks off at 12:00 p.m. Moscow time (09:00 GMT) and will be broadcast by a number of Russian news networks. It is expected to last 3-4 hours as it has since 2004.

    Related:

    Live Updates: Putin Says He Hopes Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh Will Be Resolved
    Russian Defence Ministry Sets Up Field Hospital in Nagorno-Karabakh
    Russian President Putin to Hold Annual Press Conference on December 20
    Tags:
    Nagorno-Karabakh, pandemic, coronavirus, COVID-19, issues, situation, press conference, Alexander Lukashenko, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Belarus, US, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion