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


Key developments since March 1999: The Parliament ratified the Mine Ban Treaty and the President signed the law. It awaits deposit at the UN. Progress was made in training deminers; clearance operations are expected to get underway.

Mine Ban Policy

Moldova signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997. Government officials had said that the treaty would not be ratified until the issues related to the status of the Pridnestrovie Moldavian Republic (PMR) are resolved,[1] and Russian troops withdrawn from its territory.[2] (For background on Moldova and PMR, see LM Report 1999, pp. 743-744.) However, on 27 April 2000, the Moldovan Parliament ratified the Mine Ban Treaty.[3] The President signed the law on 14 June 2000. According to an official of the Foreign Ministry, the instrument of ratification will be sent to the United Nations in September 2000.[4]

Moldova did not attend the First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo in May 1999, nor has it attended any intersessional Standing Committee of Experts meetings related to the treaty. The main reason is financial constraints. The government sent representatives to the second international conference on landmines in Russia and the CIS held in Tbilisi, Georgia in December 1999. Moldova voted for the December 1999 UN General Assembly resolution in support of the Mine Ban Treaty, as it had in 1997 and 1998.

On the same day that it ratified the MBT, the Moldovan Parliament also ratified the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and all of its protocols, including Amended Protocol II on landmines.[5] The government did not participate in the First Annual Conference of State Parties to Amended Protocol II in Geneva in December 1999, though it did attend the preparatory meeting in May 1999.[6]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling, Use

The Moldovan government is not believed to produce landmines. The Moldovan government is not known to have imported or exported antipersonnel landmines, but does not have an export moratorium in place.

Moldova inherited mine stocks from the USSR. According to the government, Moldova’s army has approximately 12,000 mines.[7] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that Moldova would be able to destroy 10,000 mines on its own, but will need international support for the other 2,000.[8]

Types of antipersonnel mines thought to be in Moldovan arsenals include: PMN, PMN-2, PMN-4, OZM-72, MON-50, MON-90, MON-100, MON-200, KSF-ls, PFM-ls, and POM-2s.[9] (See LM Report 1999, pp. 745-746.)

According to Moldovan officials, there has been no new military use of mines. Criminal use of mines and other explosives stolen from storage or obtained during the conflict, however, is reported.[10]

Mine Clearance

In an official ceremony Canada’s Ambassador to Moldova handed over to Moldovan sappers ten sets of personal protective equipment for deminers, valued at U.S.$ 120,000. He indicated Canada would also be providing training courses on use of the equipment. Brigadier General Ion Coropchan, Chief of General Staff of the Moldovan Armed Forces has said the equipment would be used in the demining of 150 hectares near the village of Pogrebya in the Chishineu district, and also for clearance of UXO left after WWII.[11]

In 1999, a group of the Moldovan police officers underwent a demining training course in the United States.[12] On 9 February 2000, U.S. military representatives provided equipment for detection and demining, valued at $104,000 dollars.[13] In February and March, deminers from the Second Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces were trained to use the equipment in demining operations at Moldova’s Military Engineers Center.[14]

In early 1999, under the Joint Control Commission (see footnote 1), it was agreed to carry out demining operations of about eighty hectares of land near Pogrebya which lies in the security zone and under the auspices of peacekeeping troops. However, the operation did not move forward because of concerns as to where to locate the Moldovan sappers.[15] Finally at an 18 April 2000 session of the Joint Control Commission, it was agreed to place forty-nine Moldovan sappers in the village of Koshnitsa, in the immediate proximity of the mined areas. Demining is scheduled to take place from 1 May through 1 September. [16] The demining of the minefields near Pogrebya is a difficult exercise, plagued by an absence of maps, a high density of mines (said to be 150-200 mines/hectare), and dense vegetation.

Mine Awareness

There are no systematic mine awareness programs in Moldova. During mine clearance operations, deminers meet with the local population and give them information about what to do if they come upon mines or UXO. In 1999 representatives of Ukrainian Peacekeepers Veterans Association (UPVA) created the Ukrainian Mine Action Information Center (UMAIC), which has representatives in Moldova and PMR. UMAIC supports Ukrainian activity with Moldova / PMR, in organizing mine awareness activities with the population. The Center has also sought to educate the government and private sector about the needs of landmine victims.

Landmine Casualties and Survivor Assistance

Statistics on mine casualties are not public information. There is only sketchy information on mine incidents in local media. (See LM Report 1999, pp. 746-747.) On 14 April 2000, the parliament enacted laws to protect the rights of the disabled and war victims.

Pridnestrovie Moldavian Republic

The Transdniester region of Moldova declared independence from Moldova in 1990, and calls itself Pridnestrovie Moldavian Republic (PMR). It is not internationally recognized. Forces from Moldova and PMR battled in 1992, with both sides using landmines.

PMR officials have made no public statements about the Mine Ban Treaty. Officials have said they have received no official information about the treaty and Moldova and international landmine activity.[17]

Moldova has said that PMR produces its own arms, including antipersonnel mines. Arms factories located in Ribnita, Tiraspol, and Tighina were part of the Soviet Union’s military supply complex and are continuing to produce weapons, Moldovan officials claim, including production of the basic Russian-type mines. The PMR government admitted to producing arms in order “to maintain the same military footing with Moldova.” [18]

The Russian 14th Army has allegedly provided PMR separatists with mines. The PMR may in turn have supplied mines to others; it has allegedly provided support to Abkhazia against Georgia, and the Krajina Serbs against Croatia.[19] Moldova has recently charged that mines manufactured in PMR are smuggled out of the country.[20] However PMR leaders and the head of Security Service of PMR General Vladimir Antufeev said that the allegations do not correspond to reality; the charges are an attempt to discredit the government of PMR. [21]

The number of mines in the PMR stockpile is unknown, but likely in the thousands. Types of antipersonnel mines thought to be in their arsenals include: PMN, PMN-2, PMN-4, OZM-72, MON-50, MON-90, MON-100, MON-200, KSF-ls, PFM-ls, and POM-2s.[22]

According to PMR there has been no new military use of mines. However, mining of the territory is considered by the leadership of PMR as the main means of defense of PMR territories.[23]

PMR does not disclose data and information about mine incidents. However, the President of PMR Igor Smirnov said that eight PMR sappers have been killed by mines since the end of the conflict.[24]

The PMR guarantees citizens free health care. In addition to its own citizens, its veterans’ hospital accepts Moldovan citizens for free treatment.


[1] On 8 May 1997, “The Memorandum on the Basis for Normalization of Relations between the Republic of Moldova and Trans-Dniester Moldavian Republic,” was signed in Moscow. On 16 July 1999, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and PMR met in Kiev, under the auspices of the OSCE, where an agreement was signed on the fundamentals of a peace settlement of the conflict, pursuant to which a Joint Control Commission was formed with representatives of Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, PMR, and OSCE. Subsequently, issues related to withdrawal of Russian troops from PMR complicated progress.
[2] Interview with Mr. Vladimir Lupan, Deputy Head, European Security Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Moldova, Chishineu, 17 February 2000.
[3] Resolution of Parliament, #973/14, 27 April 2000.
[4] Letter from Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ICBL-Ukraine, 23 June 2000.
[5] Resolution of Parliament, #975/14, 27 April 2000.
[6] Procedural Report, CCW//AP.II/CONF.1/PM/6, 2 June 1999, p. 2.
[7] Statement of Vladimir Lupan, Foreign Ministry of Moldova, made at the First International Conference on Landmines in Russia and the CIS, Moscow, 27-28 May 1998.
[8] Interview with Mr. Vladimir Lupan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 17 February 2000.
[9] Annual Report, Ukrainian Peacekeepers Veterans Association, 1998.
[10] Vladimir Shirochenko “The thieves are handing of arms to the thieves,” Argumenti I Fakti (newspaper), 20 January 2000.
[11] (http://www.cry.ru/crime.news/1999/08/09/19990809110610.html).
[12] Data from the Police of Moldova, 17 February 2000.
[13] “Soviet Mines will be destroy by American demining equipment,” Narodna Armiya (newspaper), #31, 18 February 2000.
[14] BASA – Press, 9 February 2000.
[15] Interview of Mr. Georgiy Roman, Moldovan Co-chair, Joint Control Commission, Interlik, 9 November 1999.
[16] BASA – Press, 9 February 2000.
[17] Interview with President of PMR Mr. Igor Smirnov, 30 November 1999.
[18] “Moldova: Speranta Bloc Claims Dniester Produces, Exports Arms,” FBIS, FBIS-TAC-98-064, 5 March 1998. Also, Interview with Mr. Vladimir Lupan, 17 February 2000.
[19] Moldova: Speranta Bloc Claims Dniester Produces, Exports Arms,” FBIS, FBIS-TAC-98-064, 5 March 1998.
[20] Interview with Mr. Vladimir Lupan, 17 February 2000.
[21] Interview of Minister of State Security of PMR General Vladimir Antufeev, Olvia Press, 17 April 2000.
[22] Annual Report, Ukrainian Peacekeepers Veterans Association, 1998.
[23] Interview with President of PMR Mr. Igor Smirnov, 30 November 1999.
[24] Ibid.