Last Updated: 21 October 2011

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

Not a State Party

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

As in previous years, voted in favor of Resolution 65/48 in December 2010

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Did not attend as an observer the Tenth Meeting of States Parties in December 2010 in Geneva


The Republic of Armenia has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. In a letter to the Monitor in April 2010, Armenia stated that it “cannot become a member of the Mine Ban Treaty at this moment,” but “supports the Treaty and values the idea of transparency and confidence-building measures.”[1] Armenia has not yet submitted a voluntary Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, although Azerbaijan did so in November 2008.

In its April 2010 letter, Armenia did not mention consideration of the “possibility of accession” as it did in a letter in 2009.[2]  The 2010 letter reiterated that “Armenia makes it clear that it cannot sign the Treaty unless Azerbaijan agrees to do so.”[3] Armenia still views mines along the border with Azerbaijan as essential to its defense, and officials have stated that the mines will not be removed until peace is established.[4]

Officials have often said that Armenia cannot join the treaty until the territorial dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh has been solved. According to its 2010 letter, “Armenia believes that once an agreement on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is reached, a complete and safe demining of the areas affected by the conflict will become possible in cooperation with all parties concerned.”[5]

Armenia voted in favor of the annual pro-ban UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 65/48 on 8 December 2010.

Armenia is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons. 

Officials have said that Armenia last used antipersonnel mines in April 1994.[6] In April 2010, Armenia repeated past statements that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[7]  It inherited a stockpile of mines from the Soviet Union, but its size and composition is not known. Armenia stated that stockpile information is sensitive and that “the issue to provide this kind of data is contingent on a similar level of political commitment by other parties in the region to present the same information.”[8]


[1] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Head, Department of Arms Control and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010. 

[2] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 June 2009.  

[3] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010. 

[4] Interview with Col. Vostanik Adoyan, Head, Engineering Corps, Yerevan, 25 February 2004.

[5] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010.

[6] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 June 2009; and email from Arman Akopian, Director for Arms Control and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 24 August 2005. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 658–659. Azerbaijan accused Armenian armed forces of continuing to use antipersonnel mines in 2007 and 2008, but it did not provide any evidence to substantiate the claims.  See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 873. 

[7] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010.

[8] Ibid.

Last Updated: 29 August 2013

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

The Republic of Armenia has not acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

In a statement to the convention’s intersessional meetings in April 2013, Armenia said it views the Convention on Cluster Munitions “as one of the principal instruments of the International Humanitarian Law to achieve the goal of elimination of an entire category of injurious conventional weapons” and said “[w]e highly value it as an important step to respond in a credible and efficient manner to the humanitarian challenges posed by certain advancements in military technology.”[1]

Yet the representative cited Armenia’s long-standing concern relating to “the security environment in our region” and said there was a “danger of a military imbalance, especially taking into account that Armenia’s neighboring countries possess stockpiles of cluster munitions.” He concluded, “Armenia fully supports the aims of the Convention and hopes that the circumstances will change sometime soon and a positive decision will be taken.”[2]

Armenia has consistently stated that it cannot join the Mine Ban Treaty unless Azerbaijan does so and a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is reached.[3] In March 2012, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said “We believe that the simultaneous accession of the countries of South Caucasus to the Convention will ensure its effectiveness and reciprocally reduce the security threat perception in the regional countries.”[4]

Armenia did not participate in the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[5] In September 2011, Armenia participated for the first time in a meeting of the convention, when it attended the Second Meeting of States Parties in Beirut as an observer, but it did not make any statement at the meeting.

Armenia attended the convention’s Third Meeting of States Parties in Oslo, Norway in September 2012. In April 2013, Armenia participated for the first time in the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva. It made statements at both meetings.

Armenia has not joined the Mine Ban Treaty and is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Armenia declared in March 2012 and again in April 2013 that it “does not produce, export, stockpile or use cluster munitions and does not intend to do so.”[6]

Armenia has stated that it has not “encountered remnants of cluster munitions on the territory of Armenia.”[7] Submunition contamination has been identified in Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory claimed by Azerbaijan but occupied and under the control of a breakaway government since the 1988–1994 conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.[8] There are also reports of contamination in other parts of occupied Azerbaijan, adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh, which are under the control of Armenian forces.[9]


[1] Statement of Armenia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 16 April 2013,


[3] Letter No. 19/06300 from ArmenYedigarian, then Director, Department of Arms Control and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010; and letter No. 13/15938 from Arman Kirakosian, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the CMC, 5 November 2008. Both letters assert that Azerbaijan “still stores a significant quantity and uses the Cluster Munitions.” As of June 2013, the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia stated, “Azerbaijan is a country which still stores a significant quantity of cluster munitions.”

[4] Letter from SamvelMkrtchian, Director, Department of Arms Control and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 March 2012.

[5]For details on Armenia’s policy and practice regarding cluster munitions through early 2010, see ICBL, Cluster Munition Monitor 2010 (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2010), pp. 193–194.

[6]Letter from SamvelMkrtchian, Department of Arms Control and International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 March 2012; and statement of Armenia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 16 April 2013,

[7]Letter from SamvelMkrtchian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,13 March 2012; and statement of Armenia, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 16 April 2013,

[8] Nagorno-Karabakh is not recognized by any UN member state. Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the parliament of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Province voted in 1988 to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) and join the Armenian SSR, which resulted in armed conflict from 1988–1994. The region declared independence as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in 1991.

[9] There are reports of contamination in theFizuli, Terter, and Tovuz districts. Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmines, “Cluster Munitions in Azerbaijan,” undated,

Last Updated: 23 November 2012

Mine Action

Contamination and Impact


Armenia is affected by mines, primarily as a result of the conflict with Azerbaijan in 1988–1994. In 2005, the Armenia Landmine Impact Survey identified 60 communities impacted by a total of 102 suspect hazardous areas (SHAs). The areas were in five districts bordering Azerbaijan. It was estimated that 321.7km2 were contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW),[1]but this total is likely to be significantly reduced by subsequent non-technical and technical survey.

An evaluation of European Commission (EC) funding for mine action in the southern Caucasus by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), published in 2009, concluded that Armenia has a “modest” mine problem compared to other countries although there is “significant impact” on the border areas.[2] It is not known whether Armenia’s borders with Georgia and Turkey are also contaminated.

Cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war

In addition to recorded hazardous areas within Armenia, there is believed to be significant contamination, including cluster munition remnants, on the territory seized from Azerbaijan during the 1988–1994 conflict and which remains under the control of Armenia.[3] There are also believed to be ammunition storage areas remaining from the period when Armenia was under Soviet control. Their current status is not known.

Mine Action Program

An Interagency Governmental Commission on Mine Action was set up in October 2005, but it is not known whether it is still active. The commission is responsible for developing the national mine action strategy, demining contaminated areas in support of economic development, and mobilizing the necessary resources. All clearance has been conducted by the army.

In January 2011, the ITF Enhancing Human Security (formerly the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance; hereinafter, ITF) and the Armenian Humanitarian Demining and Expertise Centre (AHDEC) under the Ministry of Defence signed a memorandum of understanding to support the establishment of a civilian mine action center as a state non-commercial entity and to support efforts to develop a mine action program, particularly by developing a strategy and an organizational structure to address the mine/ERW problem in Armenia.[4]

On 17 February 2012, the government of Armenia changed the legal status of the Center for Humanitarian Demining and Expertise, established in March 2002, from an entity within the Ministry of Defence to a state non-profit organization with the flexibility to engage with international programs. Under its new status the center can conduct negotiations with international humanitarian demining organizations, accept international funding, sign contracts, and receive assistance. The center is based in Etchmiadzin, a town 20km from the capital, Yerevan.[5] It has been reported that since 2002, deminers trained at the center have cleared 2km2 of mine contaminated land in unspecified areas of the country,[6] just a fraction of the total SHA.

In June 2011, in a follow-up meeting, the ITF and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized a meeting in Yerevan with stakeholders including the Ministry of Defense, the United States (US) Embassy, the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD), and the Ministry of Interior to plan the next steps in establishing a civilian-led mine action center. Based on the meeting the ITF developed a proposal, “Support to Civilian Mine Action Programme in Armenia” that included capacity building, an update on the extent of the landmine problem in Armenia, the release of up to 50km2 of SHAs, as well as the establishment of operational procedures and development of a national strategic plan. The ITF also developed draft national mine action standards for the AHDEC.[7]

In July 2012, the ITF reported the government of Armenia would contribute approximately US$195,000 in 2012 for national staff, premises, and some equipment costs of the AHDEC. According to the ITF, Armenia has committed to multi-year support toward the center and the national mine action program.[8]

The US has approved funding for the FSD part of the joint ITF/FSD project proposal, where FSD will work on land release and confirmation of mine contamination. According to the ITF, the US is the only donor that is interested in supporting the establishment of a civilian mine action program. However, the ITF has continued to look for donor support to train and partially equip the AHDEC staff to enable the mine action center and the national mine action program to commence operations independently.[9]

Land Release

Armenia does not report systematically on its mine clearance operations and it is not known whether clearance is still ongoing. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, although Armenia has not adhered to the Mine Ban Treaty, it voluntarily provides information on antipersonnel mines to the UN and to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for transparency and confidence-building.[10]Whatever information is provided, however, is not publicly available.

In the past, demining in Armenia has been slow and productivity rates low, with the Ministry of Defence reporting some 1.8km2 of land cleared from 2002 to the end of 2008.[11]Armenia has not responded to inquiries from the Monitor about progress in its mine action program, or given details of its clearance results in recent years.

Risk Education

No formal mine/ERW risk education activities are believed to have been conducted in Armenia since mid-2007.[12]


[1] UNDP, “Landmine Impact Survey, Republic of Armenia, 2005,” Yerevan, p. 8.

[3] See ICBL-CMC, “Country Profiles: Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh,”   

[4] Email from Luka Buhin, Project Manager, ITF, 15 February 2011.


[5]Legal status of the Center for Humanitarian Demining changed,” Information Centre on NATO in Armenia, 17 February 2011; and The New Legal Status of the Humanitarian De-Mining Center,” Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia, 17 February 2011.

[7] Email from Luka Buhin, ITF, 15 February 2011 and ITF, “2011 Annual Report,” p. 70.

[8] Email from Iztok Hočevar, Advisor to the Director for International Relations, ITF, 26 July 2012.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Security and defense, Armenia in the international system of conventional arms control,”

[11] Email from Maj. Armen Zakaryan, Ministry of Defence, 10 August 2009.

[12] Emails from Edmon Azaryan, Head of Disaster Management and Population Movement, Armenian Red Cross Society, 6 May 2009; from Alvard Poghosyan, Education Officer, UNICEF, 4 May 2009; and from Marina Ter-Sargsyan, Operations Manager, UNICEF, Yerevan, 13 April 2011.

Last Updated: 25 November 2013

Casualties and Victim Assistance

Casualty Overview

All known casualties by end 2012

At least 594 mine/ERW casualties (120 killed; 323 injured; 151 unknown)

Casualties in 2012

0 (2011: 6)

2012 Casualties by outcome

0 (2011: 3 killed; 3 injured)

2012 Casualties by device type


No new mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties were identified in the Republic of Armenia in 2012. In 2011, six mine casualties were identified.[1]

At least 594 mine/ERW casualties (120 killed; 323 injured; 151 of unknown status) have been reported in Armenia since 1990.[2] The Armenia Landmine Impact Survey from 2005 identified 394 casualties (110 killed; 284 injured).[3]

Victim Assistance

The Monitor has identified at least 323 mine/ERW survivors in Armenia. Other reports have recorded over 580 “mine victims” which could include family members of people who have been killed by mines/ERW.[4]


In 2012, the ICRC supported the Armenian Red Cross Society (ARCS) in starting a program of data collection on the needs of mine/ERW survivors. There was no existing reliable list of mine/ERW survivors in Armenia, which considerably slowed down the process as the ARCS volunteers had to undertake an initial search. By the end of 2012, the ARCS volunteers had collected data on 150 mine/ERW survivors and their families.[5]

Armenia has no victim assistance coordination or specific victim assistance strategy. Mine/ERW survivors receive the same services as other persons with disabilities.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, but it reportedly failed to do that effectively.[6]

In 2012, the International Organization for Migration in Armenia continued a socioeconomic reintegration project for survivors supported by the International Trust Fund: Enhancing Human Security (ITF) that began in 2009. Project activities included micro-credit, skills training, and enhancing government ownership of victim assistance.[7]

ICRC teams launched livelihood-support activities for the most vulnerable people in some of the most mine/ERW-affected villages, on the basis of a needs assessment the ICRC conducted in 2011.[8]

The law prohibits discrimination against persons with any disability; however, discrimination remained a problem. The law and a special government decree mandated accessibility to buildings for persons with disabilities, but very few buildings were accessible. Persons with disabilities experienced problems in virtually all spheres of life, including health care, social and psychological rehabilitation, education, transportation, communication, access to employment, and social protection. More than 90% of persons with disabilities who were able to work were unemployed. There were widespread reports of corruption and arbitrary rulings in the governmental medical commission that determines a person’s disability status under the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.[9]

Armenia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 22 September 2010.


[1] “Two Young Armenian Boys Injured from Land Mine,”, 25 January 2011,, accessed on 2 April 2012; and United States (US) Department of State, “2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia,” Washington, DC, 24 May 2012.

[2] Email from Gayane Armaghanova, Vice Chair, Armenian National Committee of the ICBL (ANC-ICBL), 22 April 2007; and US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia 2009–2011.” There has been no consistent casualty data collection in Armenia. Prior to 2007, information on military casualties was not available and therefore it is not possible to compare trends over time.

[3] UNDP, “Landmine Impact Survey, Republic of Armenia, 2005,” Yerevan, p. 17.

[4] ANC-ICBL identified 548 survivors through 2007 and 34 injured casualties between 2008 and 2010. Email from Gayane Armaghanova, ANC-ICBL, 22 April 2007. In 2012 the ITF reported that there were over 580 mine victims in Armenia. ITF, “Annual Report 2011,” Ljubljana, 2012, p.68. The ITF was formerly known as the International Trust Fund for Demining and Victims Assistance (Slovenia).

[5] Email from Herbi Elmazi, Regional Weapon Contamination Advisor, Regional Delegation for the Russian Federation, ICRC, 15 April 2013.

[6] US Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia,” Washington, DC, 2013.

[7] ITF, “Annual Report 2012,” Ljubljana, 2013, pp. 91–92; and ITF, “Annual Report 2011,” Ljubljana, 2012, p. 68.

[8] ICRC, “Annual Report 2012,” Geneva, May 2013, p. 317.

[9] US Department of State, “2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia,” Washington, DC, 2013.

Last Updated: 06 December 2013

Support for Mine Action

In September 2012, the United States (US) awarded a grant of US$391,000 to the Swiss Foundation for Demining (Fondation Suisse de Déminage) to support a resurvey to further reduce the 102 suspected hazardous areas that had been identified in the 2005 Landmine Impact Survey.[1]


[1] US Department of State, “To Walk the Earth in Safety 2013,” Washington, DC, August 2013, p. 33.