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Country Reports
KAZAKHSTAN, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Mine Ban Policy

Kazakhstan has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. The government has said that it supports the ideas of the Ottawa process and its humanitarian aspects, but “joining the treaty in the close future is problematic, primarily because the treaty obliges complete and immediate destruction of landmines which are used in Kazakhstan for defensive purposes only, to protect considerable parts of its long border. Clearing these landmines away and their substitution with the most modern types of landmines will require considerable financial resources.”[1]

Kazakhstan abstained on the vote on UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B supporting the Mine Ban Treaty, as it had in 1997 and 1998. (It voted in favor of the pro-ban UNGA resolution in 1996). Kazakhstan did not participate in any of the diplomatic meetings on landmines in 1999 or 2000.

Kazakhstan is not a party to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). In response to the OSCE questionnaire about antipersonnel mines, the government noted, with respect to the CCW and Protocol II on landmines, that:

The fulfillment of obligations under the provisions of this Convention...may require high financial expenditures. The extent of the financial outlay and other assistance on the part of the states party to the Convention have not been specified, and the possibility that such assistance can be provided evokes doubt. The Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan, if our state were to join this Convention, would be deprived of one of the most inexpensive and effective types of defensive weapons which, at the present time, we would find impossible to replace with alternative systems.[2]

The government concluded, therefore, that it was “inexpedient...to join the Convention...at this stage.”[3] Nevertheless, an official has indicated that Kazakhstan bases its policies on landmine issues on the provisions of the CCW and its Protocol II.[4]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling, Use

In April 2000, government officials said that the country does not produce AP mines, does not have industrial facilities for their production and does not plan to construct such facilities.[5] Kazakhstan is not known to have exported mines. It inherited a stockpile of mines from the Soviet Union.

The United Nations and Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the government declared a comprehensive moratorium on production in December 1996 and a ban on the export of antipersonnel landmines in August 1997.[6]

It is not known if Kazakstan has imported AP mines in the past. But, the government has stated, “It is possible for Kazakhstan to import landmines only from countries that are not party to the Convention [CCW] from now on. This means it is necessary to preserve the available stores of APMs in case they have to be used in the interests of state security.”[7]

Landmine Problem

The U.S. State Department in 1993 reported that an unknown number of German and Russian landmines from World War II were scattered about Kazakhstan.[8] However, Kazakhstan declared to the United Nations in 1995 that it was not mine affected[9] and has repeated the assertion in April 2000: “There are no mine-affected territories in Kazakhstan, thus there are no necessity of demining, no danger of mine-incidents with civilians and mine-victim assistance.”[10] There have been no recent reports of casualties due to uncleared mines.

Kazakhstan acknowledges that its long borders are mined.[11] It can be assumed that Kazakh mines are deployed along its border with China.

Kazakhstan is not known to have made any contributions to international mine action programs. The Kazakhstan armed forces reportedly have sophisticated mine removal and mine destruction capabilities.[12]


[1] Letter from E. Kazykhanov, Director of the Department of Multilateral Cooperation, Embassy of Kazakhstan in Moscow, Russian Federation, in response to IPPNW-Russia inquiry. Letter No.20/178, 19 April 2000.
[2] Response to Questionnaire on Antipersonnel Landmines, Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), FSC.DEL/32/00, Vienna, 3 February 2000.
[3] Response to OSCE, 3 February 2000.
[4] Letter from E. Kazykhanov, 19 April 2000; Response to OSCE, 3 February 2000.
[5] Response to OSCE, 3 February 2000.
[6] United Nations, Country Report: Kazakhstan, available at: http://www.un.org/Depts/Landmine/country/kazakhst.htm.
[7] Response to OSCE, 3 February 2000.
[8] U.S. Department of State, Hidden Killers: The Global Problem with Uncleared Landmines, July 1993, p. 111.
[9] United Nations, Country Report: Kazakhstan.
[10] Letter from E. Kazykhanov, 19 April 2000.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Hidden Killers, p. 111.