President Vladimir Putin said Russia was destroying its last supplies of chemical weapons on Wednesday, three years ahead of schedule, hailing the development as “an historic event”.
In televised remarks broadcast by the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Putin complained that the United States had not fulfilled its own obligations to destroy chemical weapons, saying it had put off doing so three times citing a lack of financial resources.
“Russia strictly complies with its international obligations, including those related to non-proliferation and reductions of weapons of mass destruction,” Putin said.
“Historically Russia was one of the largest holders of chemical weapons and the US remains one. 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,” he added.
Putin’s criticism of the US came as the Russian chemical weapons disposal plant near the village of Kizner, Udmurtia, in the Urals destroyed the last remains of the Russian arsenal.