"This is a measure of last resort linked to the budgetary limitations," the Russian president said. He said though they might consider additional assistance to print media.

"Some world editions with century-old or even older traditions and history are shifting exclusively to the e-format. The thing is that people prefer using e-sources of information. But you are right that we have a certain tradition and we would certainly like to preserve it," Putin said.

The government has approved preferential tax rates to support print media. "There is another pressing problem, distribution. A chain of kiosks is a business, but this business is peculiar," he said.

A female reporter from the newspaper Sobesednik asked the question about printed media and said that she loved Putin. "My love is platonic," she told the chief of state. The reporter said her personal life improved and she finally got married after Sobesednik printed her photo with Putin in May.

Voice of Russia, Interfax