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Country Reports
EUROPE/CENTRAL ASIA, Key Developments - Landmine Monitor Report 2001
<Asia-Pacific | Middle East / North Africa>

- Key Developments

States Parties

Albania. The Mine Ban Treaty entered into force for Albania on 1 August 2000. In January 2001, Albania signed an agreement with the NATO Partnership for Peace Trust Fund for the destruction of Albania’s 1.6 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines. Dismantling started in late May 2001 and is due for completion by April 2002. Landmines claimed a total of 35 casualties in 2000, a sharp decrease from 191 the previous year.

Austria. Austria’s continued efforts to sensitize other countries to the landmine issue and encourage accession to the Mine Ban Treaty have concentrated on Central Asia and the southern Caucasus. Austria doubled its mine action funding to US$1.9 million in 2000, but has reduced the budget for 2001 to its previous level of US$950,000.

Belgium. Belgium continued to play a leadership role in promoting universalization and effective implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. Belgium has served as co-chair of the intersessional Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention since September 2000. There has been much activity in Parliament and elsewhere in support of a ban on antihandling devices. Belgium contributed more than US$3.7 million to mine action in 2000, an increase from the previous year.

Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) reported the clearance during 2000 of more than 7.1 million square meters of land, including the destruction of some 5,800 mines. The International Trust Fund for Demining and Victim Assistance provided about US$11 million in 2000 to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Shortfalls in funding in 2001 have put at risk the operation of BHMAC. Following the dismissal on grounds of corruption and abuse of authority of three Demining Commissioners, a new BiH Demining Commission was inaugurated in December 2000. In 2000, 2,642 mines were collected from civilians in an SFOR initiative. In 2000, 92 new mine and UXO casualties were recorded, a small decrease from the previous year. Several incidents have been reported of Bosnian Serbs laying landmines to prevent the return of Bosnian Muslims. Bosnia and Herzegovina adhered to CCW Amended Protocol II in September 2000.
Bulgaria. Bulgaria reported that it completed the destruction of its stockpile of 885,872 antipersonnel mines in December 2000. Bulgaria decided to reduce the number of mines it retains for training purposes from 10,446 to 4,000.

Croatia. During the year 2000, a total of 9.8 square kilometers of land were demined, and another 23.2 square kilometers of suspected mined land were declared free of mines and UXO as a result of general and technical survey. Croatia spent US$22.5 million on demining in 2000. The National Mine Action Program was approved by Parliament in October 2000. There were 22 new mine casualties in 2000, a significant reduction from 51 casualties in 1999. Croatia announced that it would reduce the number of antipersonnel mines retained under Mine Ban Treaty Article 3 from 17,500 to 7,000. No stockpiled antipersonnel mines have been destroyed since June 1999, but large-scale destruction is to begin in September 2001. Croatia has served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction since September 2000 and will become co-chair in September 2001.

Czech Republic. On 15 June 2001, the Czech Republic reported the completion of its stockpile of 324,412 antipersonnel mines. Czech units in SFOR and KFOR continued to clear mines in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, respectively, and the Czech Republic funded mine action programs in Croatia and Kosovo. In May 2001, at an arms fair in Brno, a Czech company displayed an antivehicle mine in tripwire-activation mode.

Denmark. Denmark nearly doubled its mine action funding in 2000, to about US$13.4 million. The number of antipersonnel mines retained for training and development has been reduced from nearly 5,000 to just over 2,000.

France. France has continued to promote universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty, with a special focus on compliance issues. In February 2001, France organized jointly with Canada and Mali a Pan-African seminar in Bamako. In 2000, the total French contribution to mine action programs was about US$6.77 million, an increase from the previous year.

Germany. In 2000, Germany increased its financial support for mine action from $11.4 million in 1999 to approximately $14.5 million. Initiatives are underway in the government and the Parliament aimed at a ban or increased restrictions on antivehicle mines.

Hungary. Hungary hosted a seminar on the destruction of PFM-1 antipersonnel mines in February 2001.

Italy. Italy had destroyed more than 4 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines as of March 2001. In its fiscal year 2000, Italy committed about US$2 million for mine action programs, a significant reduction from the previous year’s contribution of US$6.45 million. In February 2001, the Italian Parliament approved the establishment of a national Trust Fund for Humanitarian Demining, but with drastically less funding than previously envisioned.

Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of). Since ethnic Albanian insurgents began fighting the FYROM government in March 2001, the press has reported at least six antivehicle mine incidents, in which four FYROM soldiers were killed and nine injured, and two EU Monitors and their interpreter were killed. Several seizures of antipersonnel mines being smuggled into FYROM from Kosovo have been reported. No progress has been made in the destruction of FYROM antipersonnel mine stockpiles.

Malta. Malta ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 7 May 2001. It will enter into force on 1 November 2001.

Moldova. Moldova ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 8 September 2000 and it entered into force on 1 March 2001. Moldova has begun discussions on a project with the NATO Partnership for Peace Program for the destruction of its landmine stockpile. Demining teams cleared 1,658 mines and UXO in 2000, and 450 mines and UXO between January and May 2001. Between May and August 2000, a Moldovan demining unit carried out mine clearance operations in the safety zone of the Transdniester peacekeeping mission, clearing some 85 hectares of previously unused agricultural land.

The Netherlands. For 2000, the Dutch contribution to humanitarian mine action was increased by more than fifty percent, totaling US$14.2 million. The Netherlands has taken a leadership role in the CCW on the explosive remnants of war issue. The Netherlands has served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, and as chair of the donors’ Mine Action Support Group.

Norway. Norway continued to play a crucial leadership role in promoting full implementation and consolidation of the Mine Ban Treaty. Norway served as President of the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September 2000 and presided over the intersessional process throughout the subsequent year. Norway became co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention in September 2000. Norwegian funding for mine action in 2000 totaled more than US$19 million.

Portugal. The beginning of stockpile destruction was apparently delayed due to safety and environmental concerns; the new target date was April 2001.

Romania. Romania ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 30 November 2000 and it entered into force on 1 May 2001. Romania declared in June 2001 that it has just over one million antipersonnel mines in stockpiles, which it will destroy by detonation and disassembly.

Slovak Republic. The Slovak Republic has reported the complete destruction of its stockpile of 180,000 antipersonnel mines, with only 1,500 retained for permitted training and development purposes. Since the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September 2000, Slovakia has acted as co-chair of the intersessional Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction. The Slovak Ambassador to the United Nations chaired the Second Annual Conference of States Parties of Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Slovenia. On 21-22 June 2000, Slovenia hosted the Third Regional Conference on Landmines, in Ljubljana. Slovenia had destroyed nearly 20,000 antipersonnel mines as of May 2001; plans call for destruction of the remaining mines by the end of 2001. Slovenia announced its intention to reduce the number of antipersonnel mines it retains for training from 7,000 to 1,500. The International Trust Fund in Slovenia received more than US$29 million in 2000 for regional demining activities. The ITF initiated the establishment of the South Eastern Europe Mine Action Coordination Council on 30 November 2000.

Spain. Spain completed the destruction of its stockpile of 849,365 antipersonnel mines in November 2000. It has reduced the number of mines retained for training from 10,000 to 4,000. Spain plans to set up an International Center on Demining.

Sweden. As of 1 April 2001, Sweden had destroyed 2.3 million antipersonnel mines since entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty. It planned to retain 11,120 antipersonnel mines for permitted training purposes. It has reported rendering Claymore-type mines “useless” as antipersonnel mines. Sweden contributed some US$8 million in 2000 to mine action, continuing a downward trend in funding.

Switzerland. Switzerland hosted the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in September 2000. In 2000, Switzerland provided US$8.5 million for mine action programs, a significant increase from the previous year.

Tajikistan. Russian forces have placed antipersonnel mines inside Tajikistan along the border with Afghanistan. Russian peacekeepers have also used antipersonnel mines in Tajikistan. Uzbekistan acknowledges laying antipersonnel mines on its border with Tajikistan, and Tajikistan claims that Uzbek forces have laid mines inside Tajik territory. Kyrgyzstan has reportedly laid mines on its border with Tajikistan. The new mining has resulted in an increase in mine victims.
United Kingdom. The UK continues to be one of the biggest contributors to mine action internationally, spending approximately US$23 million in its financial year 2000/2001, a significant increase from the previous year.


Cyprus. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that legislation for the ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty would be put before Parliament following elections in May 2001. The Ministry of Defense stated that “forward steps have been taken in the spirit of the treaty such as demining, exclusion of antipersonnel mines [from] our armament programs, [and] schedule of destruction of the stocks” of antipersonnel mines.

Greece. In April 2001, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs jointly announced with his Turkish counterpart that Greece, a signatory, and Turkey, a non-signatory, would simultaneously adhere to the Mine Ban Treaty. As one of a number of cooperative activities, Greece will demine its side of the border with Turkey. Greece continues to clear mines from its borders with Albania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia.

Poland. Poland established an interagency working group in 2000 to develop a plan and time line for Poland’s ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty, but officials continue to insist on a variety of pre-conditions. Poland and Canada co-sponsored a landmines seminar in Warsaw on 18-19 June 2001. Landmine Monitor has been told that Poland has between one and two million antipersonnel mines in stockpile. In 2000, 2,091 landmines were cleared, as well as 770 aviation bombs, 28,724 artillery and mortar shells, 5,892 grenades and 649,960 pieces of other ammunition, nearly all left from World War II.

Ukraine. Ukraine has disclosed that its antipersonnel mines stockpile consists of 6.35 million PFM and PMN mines. Ukraine and Canada signed a framework agreement for destruction of the PMN mines, and discussions are underway with NATO’s Maintenance and Supply Agency on a PMN destruction project. In 2000, Ukrainian demining units joined UN demining operations in Lebanon and Sierra Leone, and a Ukrainian-Polish Joint Peacekeeping Battalion started demining operations in Kosovo. Ukraine is developing a Crimea Humanitarian Demining Program.


Armenia. Armenian deminers participated in joint training with Georgian and Azeri deminers conducted by the US military in the fall of 2000. Landmine Monitor researchers carried out site visits along the border area in the Synik, Vayots Dzor, and Tavush provinces, developing new information on the impact of mines and on mine survivors. As of May 2001, the database compiled by the Armenian National Committee of the ICBL contained details of 335 landmine survivors in eleven provinces of Armenia.

Azerbaijan. A limited Level One Survey was completed in the Fizuli region. With the results of the survey, the National Mine Database was created. Other surveys are on-going. A total of 27 deminers and 16 mine surveyors were trained during 2000; 163,860 square meters of land were cleared, along with the marking and fencing of 289,991 square meters. In December 2000, mine action was suspended due to lack of funds. Ten mine incidents occurred in 2000 in which four people died and six were injured.

Belarus. Belarus for the first time revealed that it has 4.5 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, of which 3.6 million are of the PFM-1 and PFM-1S type. Belarus destroyed 8,183 stockpiled antipersonnel mines from 1997-2000. Belarus hosted an UNMAS assessment mission from 31 July-4 August 2000. In the past ten years, the Armed Forces have cleared more than 350 hectares of mines and UXO.

Estonia. There were twenty deaths and injuries due to mines and unexploded ordnance in 2000. In June 2000, a Demining Center was established. Estonia became a State Party to the CCW Amended Protocol II on 20 October 2000.

Finland. Finland has reaffirmed its goal of acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty by 2006, despite attempts by the Ministry of Defense to put back the timetable. In 2000, Finland provided about US$4 million to mine action, a reduction from the previous year.

Georgia. There continued to be reports of armed groups from Georgia laying antipersonnel mines in the Abkhazia region. Georgia has said the government has “neither tacitly nor openly supported Georgian partisans in their use of antipersonnel mines.” Georgia acknowledges that it laid antivehicle mines (but not antipersonnel) on the Chechen sector of Georgia-Russia border, then subsequently cleared them. Georgia states that Russian forces have mined the Russian-Georgian border near the villages of Shatili and Omalo. The Georgian military began an inventory of its stockpiled mines, which was to be completed at the end of May 2001. In September-November 2000, the U.S. conducted humanitarian demining training of Georgian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani soldiers at a military base in Georgia. The ICBL Georgian Committee reports that between January and the end of June 2001, 51 people were killed or injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance.

Kazakhstan. According to one newspaper report, Kazakhstan possesses 800,000 to one million antipersonnel mines. This is the only known public estimate of Kazakhstan’s antipersonnel mine stockpile.

Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz forces reportedly mined the border with Tajikistan in summer and fall 2000. Uzbekistan mined its border areas with Kyrgyzstan, and Kyrgyzstan contends that Uzbekistan planted some mines on Kyrgyz territory. In June 2001, the Kyrgyz government adopted a law to provide the legal framework for mine clearance and mine awareness, and Kyrgyzstan started demining the border areas with Uzbekistan.

Russia. Russian forces continued to use mines in Chechnya. Russian troops also mined the Tajik border with Afghanistan. Russia had destroyed 1.5 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines as of January 2001, including all of its blast mines. In April 2001, the Federal Working Group for Mine Action was formed to facilitate Russia's progress in mine action, including stockpile destruction. Russia is expanding its participation in international mine action operations. The Russian military carried out a public roundtable analyzing mine use in Chechnya; among the revelations was that remotely-delivered AFM-1С/PFM-1S mines failed about 50 percent of the time because of problems with the self-destruct mechanism.

Turkey. Turkey announced on 6 April 2001 that it was starting the process of accession to the Mine Ban Treaty. Turkey has confirmed that it has ceased production of antipersonnel mines. In late 2000, Turkey announced a project to demine the border with Syria. In January 2001, Turkey signed a joint declaration with Georgia that includes a commitment to demine the border and foreswear future use. A Turkish NGO campaign against landmines was formed in September 2000.

Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan has mined its border areas with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Uzbek forces apparently were continuing to mine the border with Tajikistan in June 2001. Both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan contend that Uzbekistan has laid mines inside their borders. The new mining has resulted in an increase in mine victims in all three countries.

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the change of regime in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), the FRY has announced its intention to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty. Yugoslav military authorities claimed that no antipersonnel mines have been produced, imported or exported since 1992. In southern Serbia, bordering the province of Kosovo, irregular ethnic Albanian forces have used landmines.


Abkhazia. In 2000, the HALO Trust cleared 1,049 mines and 285 UXO. As of July 2001, mine awareness education had been provided to 29,590 people, including 12,308 in 2000 and 8,698 in 2001. There continued to be reports of armed groups from Georgia laying antipersonnel mines in Abkhazia. Georgia has said the government has “neither tacitly nor openly supported Georgian partisans in their use of antipersonnel mines.”
Chechnya. Use of antipersonnel mines by Russian and Chechen forces has continued. Hundreds of new mine victims have been identified. Since June 2000, in close cooperation with UNICEF, UNHCR’s mine awareness project has reached 15,000 youth and children in Ingushetia and Chechnya. The Chechen Minister of Public Health has said that some 8,000 people are in need of artificial limbs.

Kosovo. By the end of May 2001 a total of 26.2 million square meters of land had been cleared, including 13,805 antipersonnel mines, 5,452 antivehicle mines, 6,482 CBUs, and 13,409 UXO. The UN Mine Action Coordination Center expects all known minefields to be cleared by the end of 2001. In 2000, a total of 4,684 mine awareness sessions were carried out in 935 towns and villages. Between 16 June 1999 and 31 December 2000, there were 437 civilians and 20 deminers killed or injured in Kosovo by mines, cluster bomblets and other ordnance. There were seven mine and unexploded ordnance incidents in the first five months of 2001. Use of landmines, particularly antivehicle mines, has apparently continued in Kosovo, by unknown persons apparently targeting the remaining Serbian population in Kosovo. Caches of weapons, including antipersonnel mines, continue to be uncovered in Kosovo.

Nagorno-Karabakh. From September to November 2000, some 3 million square meters of land in the Askeran and Martakert regions were cleared of mines. At the same time, the Defense Ministry cleared 270,000 square meters of arable land in the Hadrout region, which was handed over to the families of war disabled, including mine victims. In 2000, fifteen people fell victim to landmines.