Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his 11th annual question and answer session with the press on December 17, with the war in Syria and tensions with Turkey expected to be major topics.
The TASS news agency reported that as many as 1,390 journalists are accredited to attend, including Ksenia Sobchak of the Dozhd television channel, who got into a dispute with Putin at the event last year.
Putin established the tradition of meeting with the press for lengthy question and answer sessions in 2001 because of numerous requests he received for interviews, his spokesman said.
The news conference usually starts at noon Moscow time and continues for several hours. Reporters are free to ask any question. The president decides when to end the conference.
While Putin schedules one long session a year with the press, many other heads of state address the media more frequently.
U.S. presidents, for example, typically appear several times a year for formal news conferences, and often give unscheduled statements at the White House that present opportunities for questions from the press.
Based on reporting by TASS