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Russia's Putin criticises 16-year-old Greta Thunberg's UN speech

'Go and explain to developing countries why they should continue living in poverty and not be like Sweden,' Russian President Vladimir Putin told an energy conference.

Greta Thunberg (C) joins activists outside the United Nations during a protest against climate change on 6 September 2019 in New York. Picture: AFP

ALMATY - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday dismissed environmental activist Greta Thunberg as a kind but poorly informed teenager manipulated into making unrealistic demands in her United Nations speech last month.

“Go and explain to developing countries why they should continue living in poverty and not be like Sweden,” Putin told an energy conference, adding it was deplorable that Thunberg was being used by some groups - which he did not name - to achieve their own goals.

Thunberg, 16, denounced world leaders on Monday for failing to tackle climate change in a speech at the start of a climate summit at the United Nations in New York.

That culminated in about 4 million people marching globally last Friday ahead of the summit.

The climate strikes she inspired started in Asia and continued in Europe after similar strikes a week earlier. Tens of thousands of students kicked things off in New Zealand.

About 500 students in the South Korean capital, Seoul, urged more government action to address climate change, marching towards the presidential Blue House after a downtown rally, where they said the government gets an “F” in climate action.

Thousands of Dutch children also skipped school to join a global climate strike on Friday, blocking traffic and asking their leaders “how dare you?” in a reference to Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations.

WATCH: Greta Thunberg at the Climate Action Summit 2019

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