ERR invited to Putin's end-of-year press conference ({{commentsTotal}})

Vladimir Putin Source: Reuters/Scanpix

ERR's Neeme Raud and Anton Aleksejev have been accredited to Russian President Vladimir Putin's traditional end-of-year marathon press conference.

ETV, ERR's television department, said the news came as a surprise. Raud is ERR's correspondent in Moscow and Akesejev an operator who has deputized for Raud.

Paldiski radio is the only other Estonian media organization represented at the press conference. The online radio station was present at last year's event, drawing Putin to show his Estonian language skills. Oleg Tesla, the station's editor-in-chief, asked Putin about Russia's “compatriots policy” - a program to invite Russians living abroad back to Russia.

Putin replied with an Estonian couplet “Tere-tere vana kere,” before saying that Russia will continue to fight for the rights of people with Russian roots.

The press conference, to which 1,259 journalists have been invited to, will take place on December 18, and is the tenth such event. The conference usually lasts for hours, with the record set in 2008 at nearly five hours.

Editor: J.M. Laats, S. Tambur

Opinion digest: Our plans do not have to bend to distorted Russophobia

In a recent opinion piece in Postimees, small business-owner and Reform Party member Vootele Päi responded to criticism sparked by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' plans to attend a commemorative concert-service at the Estonian church in Saint Petersburg next month.

Kallas, Kasemets, Maasikas: EU is strong, no upside to losing the euro

Speaking on Vikerraadio's "Reporteritund" ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Siim Kallas, Keit Kasemets and Matti Maasikas agreed that despite its prblems, the EU remained strong as a union.