Putin will not hold a traditional 'direct line' with citizens

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not hold a "direct line" with citizens, which has been a tradition for the past ten years, and may hold a big press conference in late November instead, Kommersant reported on Wednesday.

"'A direct line' with Vladimir Putin, which has traditionally been aired on federal television channels since his first presidential term, will not take place in 2012," Kommersant reported.

Presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that "a direct line" will not take place this year. Responding to a question as to why a decision has been made not to hold it, he said: "No one has refused to hold it. There will just be a different format this year."

The first "direct line" aired live on federal television channels via televised linkups from different places of the country, telephone calls, and letters in 2001. On December 15, 2011, almost 40 percent of the television audience listened to Putin, who was then prime minister, for 4.5 hours.

When asked what new format has replaced the "direct line," Peskov said: "We will announce it appropriately."

According to Kommersant, Putin may give a big press conference for journalists in late November.

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