In a welcome development, Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Kremlin is destroying its last supplies of chemical weapons three years ahead of schedule, hailing the development as ‘an historic event’.
Putin however in a televised remark broadcast by the Rossiya 24 TV channel, complained that the United States had not fulfilled its own obligations to destroy chemical weapons.
“Unfortunately, the US is not observing the deadline for disposing of its chemical weapons. They have pushed the date back three times, citing a lack of funding. This, frankly, sounds strange.”
The president said Russia is laying an example in delivering on its promise to destroy its arsenal in a bid to encourage other nations to follow suit.
This latest effort is one of many that stem from a 1996 resolve to destroy its chemical weapons shortly before ratifying its accession to the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – an intergovernmental organisation located in The Hague, Netherlands, that promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction.
Russia, before it began the historic winding down of chemical weapons production was one of the largest holders of chemical weapons including the US.