Russia has destroyed the last chemical weapons from its arsenal. The occasion was announced by Putin personally, and the president was not slow to point out that Russia beat USA in reaching the milestone. That reports postimees.ee (in Estonian).
In fact both Russia and USA have failed to meet the 2012 deadline for the destruction its chemical weapons. The fact that Russia came first really must be understood in the sense that they were first among those who came too late. That didn’t stop Putin from jabbing out against the Americans in his statement that painted the occasion as an example that Russia is taking the lead in building a safer world.
The fact that Russia no longer has chemical weapons really is noticeable in a historical perspective. It is good to know that a war in Europe will not be fought with chemical weapons. Of course one must also acknowledge that the reason the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) from 1997 is still being honored by Russia and USA is that chemical weapons don’t fit into current military doctrines of either country. While it’s sort of a free ride to fulfill the CWC from a military perspective, it’s still nice to see that at least some agreements from the era of deescalation stand the test of time.