Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India was committed to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, reported PTI. His comments come in the backdrop of the decision taken by United States President Donald Trump to withdraw from the pact. “I would rather take the side of our future generation,” Modi said during an interactive session at St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Commenting on the same subject, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “Bad summer weather in Russia is due to American imperialism.” He said it was necessary to think about the way forward. “Effectively what one can do is to alter US obligations within Paris Accord,” he added.

Meanwhile, Putin also rejected all allegations made against Kremlin of interfering in the United States presidential elections in November 2016. “No specific evidence, just assumptions and allegations,” he said. He praised Donald Trump’s team saying they had proven themselves to be “competent”. “He does overkill sometimes, but it turned out he was right,” Putin said. “He is enable to find an approach to reach out to the electors whom he hoped for and they voted for him.”

He said the Democrats had made a mistake which led to Hillary Clinton’s loss in the US presidential elections. “They don’t want to recognise this mistake,” he said. “It is easier to say it is not our fault, it is the Russians – they intervened.”

Russia has been accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee servers and leaking documents to Wikileaks. “IP addresses can be invented,” Putin said while denying the allegations. “Even a three-year-old can invent. No proof.”

Modi addressed the plenary session of the economic forum on Friday where he was invited as the guest of honour. “There are opportunities in several sectors [in India],” he said at the forum. “In India, sky is the limit.”

Earlier on Friday, India and Russia agreed to set up joint ventures for manufacturing aircraft and automobiles, in an effort to boost trade and economic ties as part of Modi’s visit to the country. “Indian-Russia ties are not utilitarian,” Modi said “There is an underlying trust in our ties and our ties have grown stronger and deeper over time.” He thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for inviting him to the forum.

The prime minister said leading global agencies agreed that India is a “fast growing economy” and that the country figured on top in the list of foreign direct investment destinations in the world. “India is urbanising rapidly and this makes the need for infrastructure and waste management mechanisms even more important,” he said.

Modi further said India had removed over 1,200 laws that were considered obsolete in today’s context. “This is a manifestation of our belief in minimum government,” he said, adding that political will and stability had set the tone for transformative reforms.

“The eyes of the world are on Asia and there is renewed interest in India,” he said. The prime minister stressed on the need to “bridge” the digital divide saying living in the age of technology, a “digital divide can adversely affect the development trajectory of any nation”.

Earlier in the day, Modi visited the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts in St Petersburg. Some of India’s historical and holy manuscripts, such as Bhagwad Gita and Gurmukhi manuscripts, are kept at the institute. He also presented over 100 volumes of sacred Tibetan Buddhist text “Urga Kanjur” to the head priest at the Datsan Gunzechoinei Buddhist Temple in St Petersburg.

Modi is currently on a four-nation European tour. He has already visited Germany and Spain before Russia. In the final leg of his tour, Modi will head to France, where he will meet the newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time.