As I mentioned five days ago, I am not optimistic about the Russian sponsored deal regarding Syria’s chemical weapons. I have great doubts that Assad will actually live up to his commitment.
My sense of pessimism only grew yesterday after Putin’s remarks at the plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in the Novgorod Region on the 19th of September.
First was his comment that:
“I am not 100% sure that the Syrian cabinet will comply with the US-Russian chemical weapons deal, but I think there is hope”
Putin has close relations with Assad, yet he is not sure that he will comply. This only strengthens the pessimists among us in countries who have no relations with Syria or influence over it, such as Israel.
The Russian president also stated in the same speech:
“I just want to remind [everyone] that Syria’s chemical weapons cache was built up in response to Israel’s nuclear capabilities,” said Putin, adding that “Israel has technological superiority and doesn’t need nuclear weapons.”
To me this is Putin’s way of justifying the possibility that Assad will hold some of his chemical weapons back and not declare them to the UN. Otherwise why say this? Assad has used his chemical weapons against his own people. What has Israel got to do with this?
Little chance before that Assad would give up his entire chemical weapons stock, even less now.