Vladimir Putin has condemned teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg, claiming she is “poorly informed” and does not understand complex global issues.
Speaking at an energy forum in Moscow, the Russian president also suggested the 16-year-old was manipulated into making unrealistic demands during her impassioned UN speech last month.
He also said he was not “excited” by the teenager, who has inspired an international movement to fight climate change after encouraging other students to miss school for weekly protests.
Mr Putin called her a “kind and sincere girl” but said: “I don’t share exultation about Greta Thunberg”.
Without elaborating, he added: “It’s deplorable when someone is using children and teenagers in their interests.
“Go and explain to developing countries why they should continue living in poverty and not be like Sweden.”