05 April 2017
Belarus delegate at the Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Maputo, Mozambique ©ICBL, June 2014.
Today the Republic of Belarus announced that it has completed the destruction of its stockpiled antipersonnel mines. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines congratulates the government of Belarus.
As a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, Belarus had failed to meet its deadline of 1 March 2008 to destroy its stockpiled landmines, making the completion long overdue. As a result, the country had been in violation of the Article 4 of the Mine Ban Treaty for nearly a decade.
On 5 April 2017 the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus in a statement published online, declared that the country ‘has fully fulfilled its international obligations under the Ottawa Convention” by completing the destruction of “3.4 million antipersonnel mines PFM-1 with the support of the European Union”.
According to the Landmine Monitor, Belarus had stockpiled a total of approximately 4.5 million antipersonnel landmines. It completed the destruction of non-PFM types landmines in 2006. In 2010 the European Union announced the provision of €3.9 million to assist Belarus in the destruction of the PFM-1 mines. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines seeks further details from Belarus to confirm that all stockpiled antipersonnel landmines have been destroyed.
Dr. Iouri Zagoumennov, head of Belarus Support Center for Associations and Foundations (SCAF), a member of ICBL. Dr. Zagoumennov has advocated for the destruction of landmines in his country for years.
Belarus acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 September 2003, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2004.
Only three other States Parties have remaining legal obligations to destroy their stockpiled mines. Oman, the newest State Party to the treaty, must complete destruction by its 2019 treaty deadline. Greece and Ukraine are in violation of the Mine Ban Treaty, having missed their destruction deadline by several years.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines urges all three states to step up efforts to complete the destruction of their stockpiled landmines as soon as possible. Every landmine destroyed is one that can never be used to kill or injure a person.