Friday, June 02, 2017

"Don't worry, be happy!"

Guess who is speaking out in support of Trump's decision to exit the Paris Climate Accords? Putin! According to the Wall Street Journal,
Russian President Vladimir Putin extended an olive branch to Washington Friday, defending President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and urging American businesses to support the U.S. leader.

“Don’t worry, be happy,” Mr. Putin said in English in response to a question about the U.S. exit from the climate-change accord.

The U.S. didn’t need to pull out of the Paris climate accord in part because it is non-binding, the Russian president said, but he defended Mr. Trump’s right to withdraw from the agreement, which Russia has endorsed.

“He said he wants to review the agreement or sign a new one,” Mr. Putin said. “He doesn’t refuse to work on the problem. You shouldn’t make noise about it, but create conditions for cooperation.”

Mr. Putin’s gesture of support for Mr. Trump came at an annual economic forum in St. Petersburg meant to showcase Russia as an investment destination. Russia has faced international isolation since Moscow annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014, and U.S.-Russian ties have come under severe strain amid an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia and allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Russian officials and executives have curbed their hopes for a major breakthrough in U.S.-Russia relations, such as a removal of sanctions. But Mr. Putin used the forum to make a pitch for reviving business ties between the U.S. and Russia.

At a round table on U.S.-Russian ties, Mr. Putin said U.S. businesses could help normalize relations between Russia and the U.S.

“Help us resurrect normal political dialogue,” he said, according to Russian news agencies. “I am asking you in the name of Russia and address the American side: help the elected president and the new U.S. administration.”
Read more here.

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