BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:30 P.M.) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is not planning to pull all its troops out of Syria at the present time, and that they will stay as long as it is “beneficial for Russia” and in order to fulfil “international obligations,” while speaking during the annual ‘Direct Line’ Q&A in Moscow on Thursday.

During the session, people across Russia have the opportunity to contact President Putin via telephone, text message or on the dedicated website.

This year’s phone-in line is being held in an updated format.

The event-hosting multimedia studio is equipped with video walls along the perimeter that enables Putin to immediately get in contact with regional governors and the cabinet ministers in order to address issues straight away.

Another feature of the ongoing session is the absence of a studio audience, thus allowing the Russian leader to focus on questions and requests filed by Russian citizens.

So far some two million questions have been submitted for Putin’s Direct Line 2018 Q&A. The first phone-in line with President Putin took place in 2001 when he received around 400,000 questions.

Video credit: Ruptly

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