Russia President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that climate change doubters "may not be at all silly."
In an interview by CNBC at the International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk, Russia, Putin was asked about the rollback of environmental regulations from U.S. President Donald Trump's administration.
"Those people who are not in agreement with opponents (of climate change) may not be at all silly," Putin replied via an interpreter.
Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to reverse regulations imposed by the Obama administration that had been designed to curb the devastating impact of climate change.
Trump's Energy Independence Executive Order effectively suspends over six measures ratified by his predecessor, and though businesses have welcomed the move, environmental campaigners and many world leaders have condemned the action.
While Putin reaffirmed Russia's commitment to the Paris climate agreement, he also agreed with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö's comments regarding the inevitability of global warming. It would "continue anyway and anyhow," Putin said of climate change.
As a compromise to Washington's environmental position, Moscow would attempt to meet the U.S. halfway to find a solution.
"It is about trying to reach each other half way and seeking trade-offs," he said. "I would not dramatize things and I wouldn't use these global factors for the domestic American political struggle."
Arctic boosts Russian GDP by 10%
Russia's president also pointed to the economic importance of the Arctic region as he argued global warming and ice melting in the area created beneficial conditions for economic improvement.
"Climate change brings in more favorable conditions and improves the economic potential of this region," he said. "Today, Russia's GDP is the result of the economic activity of this region." Putin explained as he revealed that 10 percent of his country's GDP is linked to the Arctic region.
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