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Last Updated: 02 November 2011

Mine Ban Policy

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Serbia assumed the treaty commitments of the former state union of Serbia and Montenegro following the Republic of Montenegro’s declaration of independence in June 2006.[1] The former Serbia and Montenegro acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 18 September 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2004.[2] 

 A new Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia entered into force on 1 January 2006. Articles 376 and 377 make the use, production, stockpiling, trade, and transfer of antipersonnel mines a criminal offense. These two provisions also specify penal sanctions.[3]

Serbia submitted its fifth Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report in 2011, covering calendar year 2010.[4]

Serbia attended the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in November–December 2010, as well as the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in June 2011.

Serbia has reconfirmed the view of the former state union of Serbia and Montenegro that “mere participation” in military activities with states not party to the treaty, which engage in activities prohibited by the treaty, is not a treaty violation.[5] 

 Serbia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and ratified Amended Protocol II on landmines on 14 February 2011.

Production, transfer, and stockpile destruction

In 2007, Serbian officials reaffirmed that the former Serbia and Montenegro did not produce any type of landmine after 1990.[6] Serbia has stated that old facilities for mine production have been successfully transformed for production of resources for civilian purposes.[7] In the past, the former Serbia and Montenegro stated several times that mine exports halted in 1990.[8]

After Montenegro’s declaration of independence, the two countries continued the stockpile destruction process initiated by the former Serbia and Montenegro in 2005 as a project of the Ministry of Defense and the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA).[9]

On 7 May 2007, Serbia completed the destruction of 1,404,819 antipersonnel mines stockpiled by both Serbia and Montenegro. An additional 10 mines were found and destroyed shortly thereafter. Of the 1,404,829 mines destroyed, a total of 1,205,442 were held in the Republic of Serbia and 199,387 in the Republic of Montenegro.[10] Destruction was completed well in advance of the treaty deadlines of 1 March 2008 for Serbia and 1 April 2011 for Montenegro.

In 2010 and 2011, Serbia reported retaining a total of 3,159 antipersonnel mines for training and development purposes under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[11]

Serbia initially stated in May 2007, upon completion of its stockpile destruction, that 5,565 antipersonnel mines would be retained.[12] In 2007, according to NAMSA, 1,839 of these 5,565 mines did not have fuzes.[13] In 2009, Serbia reported that it retained 3,589 mines, a decrease of 1,976 mines from the end of 2007, and stated that it had destroyed another 1,940 mines and consumed five more in training.[14] 

[1] Following a referendum on independence on 21 May 2006, the Parliament of Montenegro declared independence on 3 June, and Montenegro was accepted as a member of the UN on 28 June. Montenegro deposited its instrument of accession to the Mine Ban Treaty on 23 October 2006.

[2] Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008. See also the separate profile for Kosovo.

[3] During the State Union before Montenegro’s independence, each Republic had separate legislative authority to implement the treaty. See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 633, for details on the penal code, articles 376 and 377, and the sanctions.

[4] Previous were submitted on 27 December 2006 (due 30 April 2006), then in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

[5] In a 30 June 2006 letter to the UN Secretary-General, Serbia stated that “all declarations, reservations and notifications made by Serbia and Montenegro will be maintained by the Republic of Serbia until the Secretary-General, as depositary, is duly notified otherwise.” Upon acceding to the treaty, Serbia and Montenegro made a Declaration that “it is the understanding of Serbia and Montenegro that the mere participation in the planning or conduct of operations, exercises or any other military activities by the armed forces of Serbia and Montenegro, or by any of its nationals, if carried out in conjunction with armed forces of the non-State Parties (to the Convention), which engage in activities prohibited under the Convention, does not in any way imply an assistance, encouragement or inducement as referred to in subparagraph 1 (c) of the Convention.”

[6] Interview with Col. Dr. Vlado Radic, Department for Defense Technology, Ministry of Defense, Belgrade, 21 March 2006; and interview with Mladen Mijovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgrade, 16 March 2007.

[7] Statement by Col. Dr. Jugoslav Radulovic, Assistant Minister for Material Resources, Ministry of Defense, Ceremony on the Occasion of Closing the Project for Destruction of Antipersonnel Landmines in Serbia, Belgrade, 16 May 2007.

[8] Letter from Maj.-Gen. Dobrosav Radovanovic, Assistant Minister of Defense, Sector of International Military Cooperation and Defense Policy, Ministry of Defense, 29 January 2003; and see also, Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 789.

[9] Interview with Zoran Dimitrijevic, Local Representative, NAMSA, Belgrade, 5 March 2007; and “Last Balkan mine stockpiles destroyed under NATO-supported project,” NATO News, 16 May 2007.

[10] The mines destroyed included: 294,823 PMA-1; 169,400 PMA-2; 307,969 PMA-3; 580,411 PMR-2A; 4,787 PMR-3; 44,083 PROM-1; and 3,356 VS-50. See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 608.

[11] All mines retained for training are held by the Ministry of Defense: 500 PMA-1, 610 PMA-2, 545 PMA-3, 504 PMR-2A, 500 PMR-3; and 500 PROM-1. Serbia reports that all fuses for the PMA-1 and PMA-3 mines have been removed and destroyed. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2010), Form B; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2009), Form B.

[12] A Ministry of Defense official told the Monitor in March 2006 that the General Staff “would probably” order all retained mines to be destroyed at the end of the stockpile destruction program. In its December 2006 Article 7 report, Serbia reported that only 5,307 mines would be retained for training, all by the Ministry of Interior. In its Article 7 report submitted in 2008, Serbia reported that same number and types of mines as being transferred for training by the Ministry of Interior (presumably to the Ministry of Defense). See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 618–619.

[13] This includes all 629 PMA-1 mines and all 1,210 PMA-3 mines. Email from Zoran Dimitrijevic, NAMSA, 25 May 2007; and email from Graham Goodrum, Technical Officer, NAMSA, 25 June 2007.

[14] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form D. The difference of 31 mines (1,976 versus 1,945) is not explained, apart from a remark in the report stating “Differences of APMs due to the administrative mistake.” Five PMA-3 mines were used for testing deminers’ boots in February 2009. A total of 450 PMA-2, 490 PMA-3, 500 PMR-3, and 500 PROM-1 were transferred for destruction in April 2008 and destroyed in November 2008.