I had to go back and listen again this morning when I thought a BBC news item said: 'At his annual press conference, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov...'
I heard right. He has one a year. Suddenly I feel better about New Zealand politicians' relative accessibility. All right, they may not actually say much of value at their media conferences, but at least they have them regularly.
It was only after a year in office that Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh gave his first media conference. I'm not sure if he has had any since. Nestor Kirchner, president of Argentina from 2003 to 2007, gave no media conferences at all during his four years in power. And those are both democracies, not dictatorships.