(photo credit: REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Israel’s alleged nuclear
weapons stockpile only serves to make the Jewish state “a target” and creates
“foreign policy problems.”
Putin’s comments, reported by AFP, came in
response to questions from reporters on the US and Russia-brokered deal to put
Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal under international
According to AFP, Putin said that Syria had developed
chemical weapons “as an alternative to the nuclear weapons of
The Russian president claimed that “the technical advantage of
Israel – we need to say this directly – is such that it doesn’t need nuclear
weapons. Israel is already in a technical military sense several heads above the
countries in the region.”
Putin added that “nuclear weapons just make it
a target. They just create foreign policy problems.”
weapons deal with Syria has increased pressure on Israel to join the Nuclear
Some 190 states have joined the NPT, whose goal
is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology.
the world’s nuclear powers, only four have not joined the treaty. Of these,
India, Pakistan and North Korea have all openly tested nuclear weapons. Israel
continues with its policy of nuclear ambiguity.
Israel has refused to
sign the NPT despite pressure from the international community.
when it comes to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the country might be more
“Israel has an interest in a chemical free zone as opposed to a
nuclear-free zone,” Eitan Barak, a professor of international relations from
Hebrew University said.
“That would leave Israel with its alleged
monopoly on nuclear weapons,” he said.
The state has always kept a low
profile when it comes to its own chemical weapons program. They signed the CWC
in 1982 but never ratified it, which means that Israel considers itself bound by
the spirit of the treaty, but not legally obligated to observe it.
main pretext for Israel’s refusal to ratify the treaty was the Syrian arsenal,”
Eitan Barak, a professor of international relations from Hebrew University, told
The Media Line. “Israel says Syria is a neighboring country, hostile, with a
large arsenal of chemical weapons and we need to be able to
He said that given Israel’s pharmaceutical success, it is
likely that the state has a significant arsenal of these armaments. Local
officials say that efforts to force it to join the CWC are
duplicitous.Linda Gradstein/The Media Line contributed to this report.