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Last Updated: 17 December 2012

Mine Ban Policy

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures

Existing law deemed sufficient

Transparency reporting

17 April 2012

Key developments

EC-funded stockpile destruction program underway with expected completion in 2013


The Republic of Belarus acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 September 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2004. It has cited various articles of its criminal code as national implementation measures, as well as decrees specific to antipersonnel mines.[1] Belarus submitted its ninth Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report on 17 April 2012.

Belarus attended the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Phnom Penh in November–December 2011, where it provided an update on the progress of its joint stockpile destruction project with the European Commission (EC), and on remaining technical challenges in fulfilling its destruction obligation. However, Belarus gave no timetable for beginning or completing the project.[2] Belarus also attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in May 2012 and made two statements.

Belarus is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. It submitted an annual report as required by Article 13 on 27 March 2012, covering the period from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011. Belarus is also a party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war, and it submitted a national report pursuant to Article 10 on 27 March 2012.

Belarus has said it did not produce or export antipersonnel mines after independence in 1992, and never used antipersonnel mines for protection of its borders or for other purposes.[3]

Stockpiling and destruction

Belarus’ original stockpile of antipersonnel mines inherited from the former Soviet Union totaled approximately 4.5 million. It completed the destruction of non-PFM types at the end of 2006.[4]

Belarus failed to meet its deadline of 1 March 2008 to destroy all stockpiles of antipersonnel mines it owns, possesses, or has under its jurisdiction or control.[5] Belarus conducted an inventory of its stockpile in 2010-2011 and the Ministry of Defense revised downward the number of stockpiled mines, with 3,356,636 PFMs still remaining to be destroyed.[6] This change was reflected in Belarus’ 2011 Article 7 report.[7]

Belarus has repeatedly stated that it requires international assistance in order to destroy its remaining antipersonnel mines.[8] Attempts to provide assistance through projects financed through the EC collapsed in 2006 and 2008 for various reasons.[9]

A new program was “re-launched” by the EC on 30 June 2010 with a period of performance stipulated at 28 months.[10] On 30 December 2010, the EU officially announced that on 21 December, the contract was awarded to the Spanish company Explosivos Alaveses SA (EXPAL), for a total value of €3,900,000 (US$5,171,790).[11] At the 11th Meeting of the States Parties in December 2011, Belarus told States Parties that “all necessary administrative procedures have been finalized by EXPAL and Belarusian authorities,” that construction of the destruction facility was underway, and that destruction was about to begin. Belarus announced an expected completion date of May 2013.[12]

During the May 2012 intersessional Standing Committee meetings, Belarus reported that the construction of the destruction facility was taking longer than planned and described steps it had taken to facilitate the import of necessary materials.[13] It noted the creation in February 2012 of a Coordinating Committee, in which representatives of the Belarus government, the EC, and the contractor were meeting monthly to address outstanding issues. Further work was still needed to finish the construction, including treatment of gases released during destruction of the mines and an associated environmental impact study. Belarus did not provide a date for starting the destruction and stated that destruction should be finished “in 2013.” Subsequent information provided informally to the Monitor indicated that destruction would begin by the end of 2012 and that the contractor would need to request a one-year extension (at least) of the initially set deadline of May 2013.[14]

Mines retained for research and training

In its Article 7 report submitted in 2012, Belarus reported retaining 6,030 antipersonnel mines for research and training purposes, the same number as it first declared in June 2004.[15] At the May 2012 intersessional Standing Committee meetings, however, Belarus reported that eight mines were destroyed in February 2012 during training in mine detection and mine destruction activities, and that another similar training was planned for the second half of 2012.[16] Belarus has said that it retains antipersonnel mines for training of mine detection dogs, testing of protective equipment and mine detectors, and training of personnel.[17]


[2] Statement of Belarus, Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011.

[3] Statement by Aleh Shloma, Representative of Belarus, UN General Assembly, First Committee, New York, 21 October 2004.

[4] Belarus destroyed approximately 300,000 antipersonnel mines between 1992 and 2003. In cooperation with the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency and donor countries, Belarus completed the destruction of 294,775 antipersonnel mines other than PFM-type mines in December 2006. This stockpile consisted of 45,425 PMN, 114,384 PMN-2, 12,799 POMZ-2, 64,843 POMZ-2M, and 57,324 POM-2 antipersonnel mines. A total of 217,133 mines were destroyed by open detonation and 12,799 POMZ-2 and 64,843 POMZ-2M mines were disassembled at Belarusian industrial plants. Also in 2006, Belarus destroyed the victim-activated components of its 5,536 MON-type and 200,826 OZM-72 mines.

[5] In informing States Parties that it would not meet the deadline, Belarus stated that it “is not capable to destroy [sic] over 3.3 million stockpiled PFM type mines in terms stipulated in the Convention…. The international community has no experience so far in destruction of large quantity of the PFM mines with the environmentally appropriate technology. Open detonation of this type of mines may cause severe consequences for population and environment and is therefore unacceptable. There has always been an understanding that the issue of PFM type mines is unique from the point of view of the Convention…. We have repeatedly stated that the Republic of Belarus has no possibilities to accomplish the destruction of the stockpiled PFM mines without the assistance of the international community. In this regard we welcome and highly appreciate the contribution of the European Community in solving this issue.” Note Verbale and Non-Paper sent from the Permanent Mission of Belarus to the UN in Geneva to the Permanent Mission of Jordan to the UN in Geneva (as President of the Eighth Meeting of States Parties), 18 February 2008.

[6] Statement of Belarus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 20 June 2011. Notes by the ICBL. In 2004, Belarus initially declared a stockpile of 3,374,864 of the PFM and PFM-1S type antipersonnel mines. As of June 2010, Belarus reported possessing 3,370,172 PFM-1 mines. The slight decrease in stockpiles is the result of a Belarusian private company, Stroyenergo Joint Stock Co., destroying 1,812 PFM-1 mines during a test of its pilot destruction unit in 2009.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form B, 30 April 2011.

[8] See, for example, Statement of Belarus, Mine Ban Treaty Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 26 November 2008; and statement of Belarus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 25 May 2009.

[9] See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, pp. 196–197.

[10] EC, “Service procurement notice, UA-Kiev: ENPI — destruction of PFM-1 series ammunition in Belarus 2010/S 124-188668,” 30 June 2010.

[11] Belarus, “Contract award notice, BY-Minsk: destruction of PFM-1 series ammunition in Belarus 2011/S 14-020376,” 21 January 2011, www.ted.europa.eu. Average exchange rate for 2010: €1=US$1.3261. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2011.

[12] Statement of Belarus, Mine Ban Treaty Eleventh Meeting of States Parties, Phnom Penh, 1 December 2011.

[13] Statement of Belarus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 21 May 2012.

[14] Email from Iouri Zagoumennov, SCAF Belarus, 26 September 2012.

[15] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form D, 17 April 2012.

[16] Statement of Belarus, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on General Status of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 25 May 2012, http://www.apminebanconvention.org/intersessional-work-programme/may-2012/general-status-and-operation-of-the-convention/statements/?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=14479.

[17] This was first articulated in an interview with Maj.-Gen. Sergei Luchina, Ministry of Defense, and Valery Kolesnik, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geneva, 15 June 2005. Belarus restated this during the 25 June 2010 meeting of the Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention in Geneva, http://www.apminebanconvention.org/intersessional-work-programme/june-2011/general-status-and-operation-of-the-convention/statements/?eID=dam_frontend_push&docID=12935 [in Belarusian].