Russian President Vladimir Putin did not criticize President Trump for exiting the Paris Climate Accord but did take a mocking jab at environmentalists who have panicked over the move.
Putin was asked about Trump’s withdrawal from the international agreement by Megyn Kelly during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The Russian leader poked fun at Kelly for not reading the agreement before expounding on the pact in general.
“By the way, did you, yourself, read through these Paris accords?” Putin asked Kelly, smiling. “You did not. Well, I see that.”
After some laughter from the audience, the Russian president continued.
“Generally speaking, the Paris treaty is a very good document which is aimed at resolving one of the global problems of the current times,” Putin said, “in order to deter the climatic changes. Now the issue is whether we are in a position to allow the climate to change.”
One of the nearly 200 signatories of the accord, Russia has not yet ratified the document, but Putin called for calm following Trump’s decision. Politicians, climate change alarmists and world leaders have been up in arms since Trump’s announcement Thursday that the U.S. would exit the 2015 agreement entered into by former President Obama.
Putin felt there was plenty of time to negotiate before the pact goes into effect and even joked that now Trump and “American imperialism” could be blamed for bad weather around the world.
“We don’t feel here that the temperature is getting hotter,” he said. “And I should say that we should be grateful to President Trump because today in Moscow, I hear they’re saying it snowed and it’s raining here, very cold, so now we can blame him for that and the American imperialism.”
Kelly is scheduled to debut her new gig at NBC with a Sunday night news program featuring an interview with Putin on June 4th.