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Last Updated: 11 October 2012

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

Not a State Party

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Abstained on Resolution 66/29 in December 2011

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Did not attend any Mine Ban Treaty meetings in 2011 or the first half of 2012


The Russian Federation has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. In December 2009, a Russian diplomat reiterated that Russia has not been able to accede due to the military utility of antipersonnel mines, the lack of viable alternatives, and the financial difficulties in destroying its large stockpile within four years.[1]

However, Russia has also expressed support for the treaty’s humanitarian objectives.[2] In June 2009, a Russian official said that Russia is committed to the objective of a mine-free world, but stressed that any prohibition must take into account national security considerations. According to the official, Russia’s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty is dependent on “solving a number of technical, financial and other tasks” related to implementation.[3] In December 2010, Russia said it “did not exclude the possibility of joining the treaty in the future,” but that this required an incremental approach.[4]

Russia attended as an observer the Tenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November–December 2010, where it made a statement for the first time at an annual meeting for the Mine Ban Treaty. A Geneva-based disarmament diplomat delivered a statement during the session on universalization that largely mirrored the policy points noted above. The statement also emphasized that Russia was open to work with civil society and NGOs on the mine issue, giving as an example the deputy foreign minister’s letter delivered to the ICBL at the beginning of the meeting.[5] However, Russia did not participate in the intersessional Standing Committee meetings of the treaty in Geneva in June 2011 and May 2012, and the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in Phnom Penh in November-December 2011.

Russia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on mines.[6] It submitted its most recent national annual report as required by Article 13 on 15 March 2012 covering the period from 2011 to 2012. Russia is also a party to CCW Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

Russia reports that in order to comply with Amended Protocol II, a “National System of Technical Requirements for Landmines including antipersonnel and other than antipersonnel ones was elaborated and adopted; planned disposal of obsolete landmines is underway; new, more effective types of detection and demining tools are developed and commissioned. Marking of mine fields at the national boarder of the Russian Federation is fulfilled in full compliance with Paragraph 1 of the RF Federal Law #158FZ of December 7, 2004, ‘On Ratification of Amended Protocol II.…’”[7]

Production, transfer, stockpiling, and destruction

Russia has produced at least 10 types of antipersonnel mines since 1992, including blast mines (PMN, PMN-2, PMN-4, and PFM-1S) and fragmentation mines (POMZ-2, OZM-72, MON-50, MON-90, MON-100, and MON-200). Russia has stated on several occasions that its production of blast mines stopped in 1997.[8] Russia has been conducting research on new mines, modifications to existing mines, and alternatives to mines since at least 1997.[9]

Russia has had a moratorium since 1 December 1994 on the export of antipersonnel mines that are not detectable or not equipped with self-destruct devices. The moratorium formally expired in 2002, but Russian officials have stated, most recently in June 2009, that it is still being observed.[10] Russia is not known to have made any state-approved transfers of any type of antipersonnel mine since 1994. Antipersonnel mines of Soviet/Russian origin have been found emplaced in at least 29 mine-affected countries.[11] In the first few months of 2012, the Syrian army planted landmines of Soviet/Russian origin, including PMN-2 antipersonnel mines and TMN-46 antivehicle mines, along its borders with Lebanon and Turkey.[12]

In November 2004 Russia released official information for the first time on the number of antipersonnel mines in its stockpiles, when Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov cited a figure of 26.5 million. The minister forecast that approximately 23.5 million of these antipersonnel mines would be destroyed between 2005 and 2015.[13] At the Tenth Mine Ban Treaty Meeting of States Parties, Russia declared that it has destroyed 10 million mines, including antipersonnel mines.[14] In 2010 only, more than 464,000 antipersonnel mines that did not meet international requirements were also destroyed.[15]

Russian officials have acknowledged that Russian military units in other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States maintain antipersonnel mine stockpiles, such as 18,200 in Tajikistan and an unknown number in Georgia (Abkhazia).[16]


Since 1999, Russian forces have used antipersonnel mines in Chechnya, but also at times in Dagestan, Tajikistan, and on the border with Georgia.[17] Russia has argued that its mine use has been necessary to stop flows of weapons, drugs, and terrorists, and maintained that it has been in full compliance with CCW Amended Protocol II on landmines.[18]

In June 2006, Russian officials confirmed to the Monitor that Russian forces continued to use antipersonnel mines in Chechnya, both newly-laid mines and existing defensive minefields.[19] In 2010, the Monitor ceased identifying Russia as a user of antipersonnel mines. This was the first time since the inception of the Monitor in 1999 that Russia has not been listed as a user. There have been no reported instances of mines use through October 2012.

The Russian domestic media regularly reports stories of bombings and attacks against state structures conducted by insurgent, separatist, or criminal groups in the Caucasus regions of Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, and other locations. While many reports referred to “landmines,” it appears that in most cases armed groups used command-detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), time-delay bombs, or antivehicle mines, according to available information in media reports. The Monitor has not conclusively identified specific instances of new use of antipersonnel mines by non-state armed groups in Russia since 2007.[20]


[1] Russia has often said this in the past. The diplomat also asserted that Russia fully abides by the requirements of CCW Amended Protocol II. Interview with Georgy Todua, Minister Counsellor of the Russian Embassy in Colombia, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 4 December 2009.

[2] Russia stated in November 2006 that “a mine-free world remains our common goal. Nonetheless, we have noted on several occasions that our movement towards this goal has to be realistic and gradual, sustaining the necessary level of security and stability.” Statement of Russia, CCW Amended Protocol II Eighth Annual Conference of States Parties, Geneva, 6 November 2006.

[3] Interview with Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, Moscow, June 2009. These views were reiterated in an official letter in 2010. Letter from Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, 29 November 2010.

[4] Statement of Russia, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010. Notes by ICBL.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Russia submitted a series of declarations with its ratification instrument that will guide its national implementation of Amended Protocol II. For details of the declarations, see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 854–855. Russia used Amended Protocol II’s optional nine-year extension to defer (until 3 December 2007) its compliance with the protocol’s technical requirements for self-destruct and self-deactivation mechanisms for remotely-delivered antipersonnel mines and detectability for antipersonnel mines.

[7] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form C, 30 September 2009.

[8] See, for example, Statement of Russia, CCW Amended Protocol II Tenth Annual Conference of States Parties, Geneva, 12 November 2008.

[9] In 2004, Russia said it had spent or planned to spend RUB3.33 billion (US$115.62 million) on research, development, and production of new engineer munitions, including alternatives to antipersonnel mines. Statement by Sergei Ivanov, Minister of Defense, parliamentary hearings on ratification of Amended Protocol II, 23 November 2004. Average exchange rate for 2004: RUB1=US$0.03472. Oanda, www.oanda.com.

[10] Interview with Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, Moscow, June 2009.

[11] Countries in which Soviet/Russian antipersonnel mines have been found are: Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Cuba, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Iraq, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Libya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

[12] Human Rights Watch (HRW), “Syria: Army Planting Banned Landmines: Witnesses Describe Troops Placing Mines Near Turkey, Lebanon Borders,” Press Release, 13 March 2012, New York, http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/03/13/syria-army-planting-banned-landmines, accessed 26 September 2012.

[13] Statement by Sergei Ivanov, parliamentary hearings on ratification of CCW Amended Protocol II, 23 November 2004. He said that in 2000 Russia stockpiled 46 million antipersonnel mines but had since destroyed or disposed of about 19.5 million of them.

[14] Statement of Russia, Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 2 December 2010. Notes by ICBL.

[15] Article 13 Report, Form B, 1 March 2011.

[16] In each of its Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports since 2003, Tajikistan has reported that intergovernmental talks are “currently underway” to clarify and complete data collection regarding these Russian mines.

[17] For a summary of past use, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 1,186–1,187. Russia has denied any use of antipersonnel mines during the conflict in 2008 with Georgia over South Ossetia. HRW investigations could find no evidence of use of mines. See Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 1,069.

[18] See, for example, Statement by Amb. Anatoly I. Antonov, CCW Group of Governmental Experts (GGE), Sixth Session, Geneva, 18 November 2003.

[19] Interview with Russian delegation to the CCW GGE, Sixth Session, Geneva, 23 June 2006. They insisted that all use of antipersonnel mines “complies with Amended Protocol II,” that “all necessary documentation for minefields is retained,” and that all minefields “are fenced and the civilian population informed.” Russia regularly acknowledged using antipersonnel mines in Chechnya in the past.