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Russian Federation calls on USA to destroy chemical weapons

27 Septembre 2017

"They have postponed the deadline for the liquidation [of chemical arms] three times already, under the auspices of the lack of necessary funds, which honestly sounds odd".

Putin said Washington had postponed its plans to destroy its chemical weapons citing insufficient funds, which he said "looked a little bit odd".

The head of the worldwide chemical weapons watchdog hailed Russia's destruction of its last toxic arms as a "major milestone".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "We are fulfilling our obligation under the Chemical Weapons Convention to fully destroy our chemical weapons arsenal, and we do it ahead of schedule".

A Russian military officer showing a Scud missile of the type that Soviet forces filled with nerve agents and stored in seven chemical weapons arsenals in this June, 2001 file picture. The first in 2012 and then again in 2015, the self-granted deadline extension.

The U.S. administration did not immediately comment on Putin's accusation.

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Russian Federation joined the CWC in 1997 and was initially expected to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles by December 31, 2018.

Contrary to Putin's comments, however, USA stockpiles of chemical arms created between World War I and 1968 have been nearly entirely destroyed. It managed to dispose of about 90 percent of its stockpile by that deadline.

"I congratulate Russian Federation and I commend all of their experts who were involved for their professionalism and dedication", he said in a statement. It relied on the US and other Western aid in the early phases of the program, but later came to fund the effort from its own coffers as the Russian economy rebounded.

According to the OPCW, the United States is now the last member state of the Convention on Chemical Weapons to have declared that it still possesses chemical weapons.

Washington said it would complete its destruction of the weapons by 2023.

Most recently, the chemical Sarin was used in an attack in April.

Russian Federation calls on USA to destroy chemical weapons