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Putin jokes that Russians are grateful Trump left Paris Accord, saying surprise storm that hit Moscow can now be blamed on US president and 'American imperialism'

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Vladimir Putin was in a surprisingly jovial mood on Friday as he appeared at the International Economic Forum in St Petersburg, with the Russian president smiling throughout his session and even cracking some jokes.

A number of Putin's quips came at the start of the question-and-answer segment of the event, when moderator Megyn Kelly asked him and the other panelists to give their thoughts on President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Putin downplayed the situation at first by stating there is still time for a compromise to be worked out before launching into a joke about how Russians can now blame any sudden or unforeseen weather on the United States and President Trump.

Putin also joked about the negative view European leaders have of him and his country's frigid weather in his response to the question, which drew laughter from the audience and the panel.

And at one point he told the audience: 'Don't worry, be happy.

Kelly launched into the question-and-answer portion of the day after the panel of guests had all spoken, with Putin being joined by Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern, Moldova's President Igor Dodon, and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Putin and Modi were previously seen hamming it up on Thursday night when they greeted Kelly at a state dinner which was held at the Konstantin Palace.

'How's everybody doing? You hanging in there?' Kelly asked the audience, eliciting absolutely no response for a few seconds before there was a smattering of applause.

'OK good, now we're going to have some questions,' Kelly said at that point.

She then asked how European leaders were responding to President Trump's move, and went to Putin first for a response.

'Well I am not amongst the European leaders. At least, the European leaders do not consider me to be among them,' Putin replied, drawing laughter from the room.

He then got serious, explaining: 'The Paris Agreement is a very good, correct document to solve one of the global problems of modernity. Now the question is, if we are in a position to not allow climate change.

Putin, then went in for another bit of humor, this time opting for an inside-joke with his fellow Russians.

'It’s about preventing temperature changes of two degrees, but we don't feel here that the temperature is getting hotter,' said Putin, breaking into a grin as he neared the end of his comment.

He followed that bit up with yet another joke.

'By the way, we should be grateful to President Trump. In Moscow it’s raining and cold and even, some snow,' said Putin, referencing the surprise weather that hit the Russian capital on Friday.

'We can now blame this all on American imperialism, that it’s all their fault. But we won’t.'

Putin later stated that it was not fair to fault President Trump for his decision.

'I would refrain from judging President Trump right now because it was President Obama who made the decision,so maybe the new president believes it was not well-conceived, maybe he thinks there are not enough resources,' said Putin.

'This situation needs to be thoroughly assessed.'

Putin has yet to ratify the agreement because he wants to see more clear-cut rules, but has made it clear that Russia very much supports the framework.

And after telling the audience not to wrry and to 'be happy,' Putin added: 'This accord has not yet come into effect; it is supposed to come into effect as of 2021, so we still have time.

'If we are all constructive in what we do, there are things that we can agree on.'

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Muslim Global: Putin jokes that Russians are grateful Trump left Paris Accord, saying surprise storm that hit Moscow can now be blamed on US president and 'American imperialism'
Putin jokes that Russians are grateful Trump left Paris Accord, saying surprise storm that hit Moscow can now be blamed on US president and 'American imperialism'
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