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Putin: US failing to honor commitments for plutonium disposal

October 19, 2017, 18:04 UTC+3

This is inappropriate for a country proclaiming itself as the champion in armaments non-proliferation and control, the Russian leader stressed

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© Ilya Yakovlev/TASS

SOCHI, October 19. /TASS/. Russia has honored all its commitments for plutonium disposal whereas the United States has not fulfilled its part of obligations and is behaving ‘inappropriately,’ Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a final plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club on Thursday.

"The US, which was once the initiator of the Convention on the prohibition of chemical weapons and on international security and initiated these agreements itself, is not fulfilling its commitments and up to date remains the sole and the most powerful possessor of this type of mass destruction weapons," Putin said.

"Moreover, the US has shifted the deadline for eliminating its chemical weapons from 2007 to as late as 2023. This is inappropriate for a country proclaiming itself as the champion in armaments non-proliferation and control," the Russian president stressed.

In Russia, this process was fully completed on September 27, 2017, Putin said.

"Thus, our country has made a serious contribution to strengthening international security," Putin added.

Russia hopes US will return to talks on plutonium elimination

Moscow expects that Washington will return to negotiations on the destruction of weapons-grade plutonium, according to Putin.

"We hope that they (US) will return to these negotiations (on plutonium elimination)," Putin said.

Washington had not even warned Moscow that it planned to violate the agreements on plutonium and stopped meeting its commitments, Putin said. This plutonium may be again used for weapons, he stressed.

Moscow has not withdrawn from the agreements on plutonium, but suspended them "expecting a normal and real reaction from our partners," he said.

"Now we hear that the New START treaty does not really satisfy (the US)," Putin added. "We are not going to quit it." "It is better to have agreements than not to have them, and understanding this, we will do our utmost to meet all the commitments and we will fulfill them," he said.

According to the Russian leader, Moscow has already unilaterally destroyed all chemical weapons, spending huge sums on this effort, while the US does not meet its commitments, although it has the money.

When asked if the situation may repeat the crisis of the 1950s, Putin said: "We are not returning to the 1950s, we are being returned to the 1950s."

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