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Putin jokes about climate change, US hegemony at St. Petersburg forum

June 02, 19:11 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG

The Russian leader reiterated the content of the Paris Agreement to the forum participants, joking that "we don’t feel that the temperature is rising here"

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, June 2. /TASS/. Bad weather and US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord served as an opportunity for some humor by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a plenary meeting of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The Paris accord is a worthy, appropriate document that was shaped to solve one of today’s key problems -climate change. The question is whether we can keep climate change under control? The goal is to keep rising average global temperature below 2°C," the Russian leader reiterated the content of the Paris Agreement to the forum participants, joking that "we don’t feel that the temperature is rising here."

"By the way, we should thank President Trump… It snowed in Moscow and rained in St. Petersburg today, and it is extremely cold. No we can blame him [Trump] and American imperialism for everything. That’s their fault," the Russian president joked switching to a more humorous mood, as laughter and applause emanated from the audience. "But we won’t do it," he said.

The Russian leader caught NBC’s TV presenter, Megyn Kelly off guard. Asking about Putin’s attitude towards the US’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, she quoted the European country leaders who called Trump’s decision wrong.

"I am not a European leader, or at least they think so," Putin said, stirring up laughter and applauds from the audience. Switching to a serious tone, he assured that "Russia has an opinion of its own."

"By the way, have you read this Paris Agreement yourself?" the head of state asked Kelly. "No, I haven’t," she said. The Russian leader had to articulate the document’s key points.

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