Putin of Russia presided over the destruction of his country’s last declared chemical weapons on Wednesday, describing the elimination as a “historic event” and complaining that the United States has failed to purge its own chemical arsenal.

The carefully choreographed event, broadcast on state television, cast Mr. Putin as a peacemaker and determined defender of international law. It seemed designed to offset the reputation he has acquired for belligerence and the flouting of international norms amid Russia’s military interventions in Ukraine in 2014 and in Syria.
As has become customary at public appearances by the Russian president, Mr. Putin used the occasion to take a dig at Washington and to suggest that it was playing a devious double game.
The United States, he said, “is unfortunately not observing the deadline for

destroying chemical weapons” based on treaty obligations. “They have pushed the date back three times, citing lack of budget funding. Frankly, this sounds strange, but whatever.”
There was no immediate response from American officials in Washington to Mr. Putin’s remarks.
Both Russia and the United States — which hold the world’s biggest stockpiles — were supposed to destroy all of their chemical weapons by 2012 under an international agreement, the Chemical Weapons Convention, that they each signed in 1993 and which went into force in 1997. The final deadline for the elimination of chemical weapons was initially set for 2007. But with neither of the two countries close to meeting that goal, the deadline was extended to 2012.


Post a Comment


Popular Posts