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


Key developments since March 1999: The Mine Ban Treaty entered into force for the Slovak Republic on 1 August 1999. Stockpile destruction began in August 1999 and 127,781 antipersonnel mines were destroyed by the end of April 2000. Destruction is expected to be completed by August 2000. Slovakia also destroyed its PT-Mi-K antivehicle mines with anti-lift mechanisms. It has served as a co-rapporteur of the SCE on Stockpile Destruction. Slovakia ratified CCW Amended Protocol II on 30 November 1999, and its UN Ambassador serves as President-elect of the Second Annual Conference.

Mine Ban Policy

The Slovak Republic signed the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) on 3 December 1997, and deposited its instrument of ratification at the United Nations on 25 February 1999. Officials indicate that national implementation was achieved when the Slovak Parliament approved ratification of the MBT on 4 June 1999, making it part of national legislation.[1] It was published as a new law on the same date in the official bulletin of the Ministry of Justice, Zbierka zákonov.[2] Complementary to this, small changes to the penal code are expected. According to officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, violations of the Mine Ban Treaty law are already covered in the penal codes prohibiting weapons of mass destruction.[3]

Slovakia participated in the First Meeting of State Parties (FMSP) to the Mine Ban Treaty in Maputo, Mozambique, in May 1999. The delegation noted that Slovakia has supported the MBT from the beginning and wishes to contribute to activities that promote the elimination of antipersonnel landmines. It stated its intention of destroying all stockpiles within two years, as well as its willingness to share its expertise in mine clearance, training and victim assistance.

Since the FMSP, the government has taken an active role in meetings of the Intersessional Standing Committees of Experts and Ambassador Mária Krasnohorská of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has acted as one of the co-rapporteurs of the Standing Committee of Experts on Stockpile Destruction. After the Second Meeting of States Parties in September 2000, Slovakia will become co-chair of this committee. The Slovak Republic voted in favor of the December 1999 UN General Assembly resolution, as it had with the previous pro-ban UNGA resolutions in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Slovakia’s initial Article 7 report as required under the MBT was submitted to the United Nations on 9 December 1999, and covers the period from 3 December 1997 to 30 November 1999.[4] A second report was submitted on 12 June 2000, covering 1 December 1999 to 30 April 2000. The second report is an update on stockpile destruction.

On 30 November 1999, Slovakia ratified Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). Slovakia participated as a State Party at the First Conference of State Parties to the Amended Protocol II in December 1999 in Geneva, but had not submitted its report as required under Article 13 by the time of the conference. Mr. Kálmán Petcz, Slovakia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, serves as President-elect of the Second Conference of State Parties to the Amended Protocol II, which will be held in December 2000.

As a member of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), Slovakia continues to support attempts to consider the negotiation of a ban on transfers of antipersonnel landmines in the CD. In his statement to the FMSP in May 1999, the State Secretary said, “[W]e believe that a global ban on transfers of antipersonnel landmines negotiated in the Conference on Disarmament could be another step that would properly address this issue for the time being and would be a precious contribution to our final goal - the universality of all bans in the Ottawa Convention. We must use every opportunity to make antipersonnel mines unavailable for those who still take recourse to emplacing these weapons of terror.”[5] That position was reiterated by Ambassador Petcz at the CD on 2 September 1999: "Along with our firm and unabating commitment to the Ottawa process, we believe that the commencement of negotiations in the CD on a ban of APM transfers would be a very positive step in the right direction. We would see those two processes complementary rather than competitive."[6]

Production and Transfer

The former Czechoslovakia was a significant producer and exporter of arms, including landmines, but when the country divided, Slovakia did not inherit any of Czechoslovakia's landmine production facilities.

There was an export moratorium on AP mines in place from 1994, which was superseded by the MBT. Regarding the Slovak government's position on the transfer or transit of AP mines by other countries across Slovak territory, in March 2000 the Foreign Ministry stated that "Slovakia as a State Party of the Ottawa Convention fully complies with all obligations of the Convention, that includes also the transfers of APMs (with the exceptions permitted in accordance with Article 3 of the Convention)."[7] The Slovak Republic regards its obligations to international treaties to which Slovakia is a state party as superior to any other international (e.g. bilateral) agreement, and therefore Slovakia would not agree to any transfers or transits of AP mines through its territory by a non-state party to the MBT as in, for example, the case of a joint military operation.[8]

Stockpiling and Destruction

As reported in its initial Article 7 report, Slovakia had a total of 187,060 antipersonnel mines in its stockpile when it began destroying them in August 1999.[9] By the end of April 2000 it had destroyed a total of 127,781 antipersonnel mines (107,222 AP-S-M and 20,559 AP-C-M1).[10] According to the Ministry of Defense, the remaining stock of 52,279 will be destroyed by the end of August 2000 so as to be completed before the Second Meeting of State Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September 2000.[11] None of the stockpiled AP mines are of the Claymore directional fragmentation type.[12]

The mines are destroyed at the Military Repair Enterprise in Nováky by disassembling them, which is considered the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly method according to the Slovak authorities.[13] The Military Repair Enterprise in Nováky has a higher destruction capacity, "approximately one million mines per year with possible doubling of this capacity if required," than is needed to destroy the Slovak mines.[14] The government has offered to help other countries in the region, or beyond, with stockpile destruction.[15] Slovak authorities have had discussions with countries including the Ukraine and Croatia about assisting with the destruction of their stockpiles, but in order to do so, the government would need financial support. Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs note frustration at not being able to make use of its expertise and technology in demining and stockpile destruction due to lack of funding and cooperation from other countries in finding financial assistance.[16]

Slovakia has reported that it plans to retain 7,000 AP mines as permitted under the MBT: 5,000 AP-S-M (PP-Mi-Sr) and 2,000 AP-C-M 1 (PP-Mi-Na1). The former can be detected with a metal detector, the latter cannot. [17] According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this number may be reduced further.[18] Retained AP mines will be used for training Slovak demining experts, and development and testing of new demining techniques.[19]

There is no official list of antitank mines retained by the Slovak Army since this is regarded as restricted information, though new guidelines on what information should be restricted in the future are under discussion.[20] However, antihandling devices fitted to antitank mines have been the subject of discussions between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense. Following this, all the Slovak Army stocks of the PT-Mi-K antivehicle mine with anti-lift firing mechanisms were destroyed.[21] The two ministries have already agreed to discuss other antivehicle mines that could function as antipersonnel mines, after destruction of all stockpiled AP mines has been completed.[22] The ICBL applauds the government for taking the step of destroying the antivehicle mines with anti-lift devices that function as antipersonnel mines, and suggests that it would be appropriate to include this information in Article 7 reporting.


The Foreign Ministry states that the Slovak Army has not replaced its AP mines with other alternatives, and all training procedures and military manuals regarding landmine use have been adjusted to reflect the obligations contained in the MBT.[23]

Landmine Problem

Slovakia is not a mine-affected country. During the Cold War, as part of the former Czechoslovakia, it had only a short border with one country outside the Warsaw Pact, Austria, which according to the authorities was not heavily mined.[24]

Mine Action

In 1996 Slovakia donated $10,000 to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Mine Action. In 1999 it gave $35,000 to the ICRC fund for mine victims. Since 1993 Slovakian demining troops have been involved in mine clearance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Eastern Slavonia and Croatia, and since 1999 also in Kosovo under the UNPROFOR, UNTAES, SFOR and KFOR missions. As urged by Article 6 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Slovakia has expressed a readiness to provide assistance in mine clearance, training, and stockpile destruction. Slovakia has also been active in developing new mine clearance technology, notably the demining machines “Bozena,” produced by Willing Industry a.s. in Krupina, and “Belarty,” by Technopol International a.s. in Bratislava, which are being used by Slovak deminers in SFOR and KFOR missions.[25]


[1] Law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic No. 121/1999 Coll., On the ratification of the [Mine Ban Treaty], 4 June 1999.
[2] Letter from Ambassador Mária Krasnohorská, Director of the Department of OSCE, Disarmament and Council of Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bratislava, 16 March 2000.
[3] Interview with Ambassador Mária Krasnohorská, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr Marcel Jesenský, Arms Control and Disarmament Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bratislava, 27 April 2000.
[4] Slovak Republic Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, submitted 9 December 1999. Names of the antipersonnel mines included do not correspond with the original names of mines known to have been produced in the former Czechoslovakia.
[5] Statement by Dr Jaroslav Chlebo, State Secretary of Foreign Affairs, at the First Meeting of State Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, Maputo, Mozambique, 4 May 1999.
[6] Statement by Ambassador Kálmán Petcz, Representative of the Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the United Nations, at the Plenary Session of the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, 2 September 1999.
[7] Letter from Ambassador Krasnohorská, 16 March 2000.
[8] Interview with Ambassador Krasnohorská and Marcel Jesenský, Bratislava, 27 April 2000.
[9] Article 7 report, 9 December 1999.
[10] Article 7 Reports, 9 December 1999 and 12 June 2000. The AP-S-M is usually known as the PP-Mi-Sr and the AP-C-M1 as the PP-Mi-Na1.
[11] Interview with Col. Jaroslav Tomas, Head of Slovak Verification Center of the Ministry of Defense, and Major Frantisek Zak, Slovak Verification Center, Bratislava, 27 April 2000.
[12] Letter from Ambassador Krasnohorská, 16 March 2000.
[13] Statement by Major Frantisek Zák, Slovak Verification Center at the Ministry of Defense, at the Standing Committee of Experts on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 9-10 December 1999. An article describing the process was written for the Army magazine: Anton Fillo, “Pozor! Miny!“ Apologia, Casopis Armady Slovenskej Republiky, January 2000, p. 8-9.
[14] Statement by Major Zák, Geneva, 9-10 December 1999.
[15] Statement by Dr. Chlebo, Maputo, 4 May 1999.
[16] Interview with Ambassador Krasnohorská and Marcel Jesenský, Bratislava, 27 April 2000.
[17] Article 7 report, 9 December 1999.
[18] Letter from Ambassador Krasnohorská, 16 March 2000.
[19] Ibid.
[20] Letter from Ambassador Krasnohorská, 19 May 2000.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Interview with Ambassador Krasnohorská and Marcel Jesenský, Bratislava, 27 April 2000.
[23] Letter from Ambassador Krasnohorská, 16 March 2000.
[24] Interview with Col. Tomas and Major Zak, Bratislava, 27 April 2000.
[25] Ibid.