Slovakia

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 13 September 2021

Summary

Slovakia acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 24 July 2015 after implementing an action plan to join it. Since becoming a State Party, Slovakia has participated in every meeting of the convention, most recently in November 2020. Slovakia voted in favor of a key United Nations (UN) resolution promoting the convention in December 2020.

Slovakia is not known to have used cluster munitions, but produced, imported, and exported them in the past. Slovakia is in the process of destroying its stockpile of 1,235 cluster munitions and 299,187 submunitions by the end of 2023 and it destroyed 122 cluster munitions and 5,980 submunitions in 2020. Slovakia is not retaining cluster munitions for research and training purposes.

Policy

The Slovak Republic acceded to the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 24 July 2015 and became a State Party on 1 January 2016.

Slovakia lists the Penal Code and various arms trafficking laws under relevant national measures to enforce its implementation of the convention.[1]

Slovakia submitted its initial Article 7 transparency report for the convention on 28 June 2016 and has provided annual updates since then, most recently in April 2021.[2]

Slovakia participated throughout the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions and joined in the consensus adoption of the convention in Dublin in May 2008. However, it participated only as an observer at the convention’s signing conference in Oslo in December 2008.[3]

Slovakia acceded to the convention weeks after the National Council of the Slovakian parliament adopted a resolution approving accession to the convention on 26 June 2015. The measure marked the successful completion of process to establish an action plan for accession to the Convention on Cluster Munitions that was mandated by a November 2008 decree.[4]

Slovakia attended several meetings of the convention as an observer before it acceded.[5] It has attended every meeting of the convention held since then, most recently the first part of the convention’s Second Review Conference held virtually in November 2020.

In December 2020, Slovakia voted in favor of a key UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that called on states outside the Convention on Cluster Munitions to “join as soon as possible.”[6] Slovakia has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution promoting the convention since it was first introduced in 2015.

Slovakia has expressed deep concern at the reported use of cluster munitions in different parts of the world and has called on all actors to refrain from use.[7] Slovakia has voted in favor of UNGA and Human Rights Council resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, most recently in December 2020.[8]

Slovakia has not elaborated its views on certain important issues related to the convention’s interpretation and implementation, such as the prohibitions on transit, assistance during joint military operations with states not party that may use cluster munitions, foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions, and investment in production of cluster munitions.

Slovakia is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).

Use

Before acceding to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Slovakia stated several times that it has never used cluster munitions.[9]

Production

In January 2014, Slovakia said it no longer produces cluster munitions and committed to no further production, having taken the decision in 2010 to no longer acquire cluster munitions.[10]

Slovakia’s initial Article 7 transparency report, provided in June 2016, formally confirms that it no longer produces cluster munitions, stating that ZVS Holding Company of Dubncia and Vahom retired the production line in 2010.[11] The company manufactured two types of ground-fired cluster munitions.[12] Cluster Munition Monitor previously listed another Slovakian company as producing cluster munitions in the past.[13]

Transfers

Slovakia exported cluster munitions until February 2010 and had imported them in the past. ZVS Holding produced 8,680 122mm AGAT rockets for sale to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1998–2010, while 602 cluster munitions we produced for Slovakia’s Ministry of Defense in 1998–2001.[14]

In the past, Slovakia imported M26 cluster munition rockets from Germany.[15]

Stockpiling

Slovakia once possessed a stockpile of 1,235 cluster munitions and 299,187 submunitions, as shown in the following table. All cluster munitions have been withdrawn from operational stocks.

Cluster munitions once stockpiled by Slovakia[16]

Type

Quantity of cluster munitions

Quantity of submunitions

M26 rocket, each containing 644 M77 DPICM submunitions

396

255,024

JRKK-G AGAT projectile, each containing 50 dual purpose and six incendiary submunitions

33

1,848

JRKK-G AGAT rocket, each containing 50 dual purpose and six incendiary submunitions

560

31,360

BKF cartridge with 12 PTAB-2.5 submunitions

72

864

BKF cartridge with 12 AO-2.5RT submunitions

63

756

RBK-250 PTAB 2.5, each containing 42 PTAB 2.5 submunitions

20

840

RBK-500-255 PTAB-10.5A bomb, each containing 30 PTAB-10.5A submunitions

19

570

RBK-500-375 AO-10 bomb, each containing 30 AO-10 submunitions

22

660

RBK-500 AO-2.5 bomb, each containing 60 AO-2.5 submunitions

20

1,200

RBK-500 AO-2.5RT bomb, each containing 30 AO-2.5 submunitions

30

660

ZAB-2.5P incendiary submunitions

0

1,144

ZAB-2.5T incendiary submunitions

0

310

PTAB-2.5 submunitions

0

840

AO-2.5 submunitions

0

3,020

AO-10 submunitions

0

91

Total

1,235

299,187

Note: DPICM=Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munition.

Stockpile destruction

Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Slovakia is required to destroy all stockpiled cluster munitions under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but no later than 1 January 2024.

Slovakia has committed to destroy the stockpile by the deadline “using its own capacities.”[17] In May 2020, it provided a year-by-year schedule for its planned destruction of the remaining stocks in 2020–2023.[18]

By the end of 2020, Slovakia had destroyed a total of 920 cluster munitions and 47,568 submunitions, which represents 74% of its total declared cluster munitions and 16% of declared submunitions.

Cluster munitions destroyed by Slovakia

Year

Cluster munitions destroyed

Submunitions destroyed

2020

122

5,980

2019

155

8,190

2018

226

12,688

2017

162

4,494

2016

92

4,550

2013–2015*

163

11,666

Total

920

47,568

Note: * Before entry into force of the convention for Slovakia.

Slovakia destroyed 163 cluster munitions and 11,666 submunitions before the convention’s entry into force for the country on 1 January 2016. Another 757 cluster munitions and 35,902 submunitions have been destroyed since then, including 122 cluster munitions and 5,980 submunitions in 2020.

Cluster munitions destroyed by Slovakia in 2020[19]

Type

Quantity of cluster munitions destroyed (submunitions)

JRKK-G AGAT projectile

92 (5,152)

RBK-500-255 PTAB-10.5A bomb

2 (60)

RBK-500-375 AO-10 bomb

2 (60)

RBK-500 AO-2.5RT bomb

4 (240)

RBK-250-PTAB-2.5

1 (42)

PTAB-2.5

0 (134)

AO-2.5

0 (40)

KMGU dispenser and BFK PTAB-2.5 cartridge

13 (156)

KMGU dispenser and BKF AO-2.5 RT cartridge

8 (96)

Total

122 (5,980)

Slovakia is destroying the stockpile by open detonation at the Novaky training area and Kuchyna firing range.

Slovakia reported in April 2021 that the United States (US) has agreed to provide financial support to destroy 227 M26 cluster munition rockets.[20]

Retention

During 2020, Slovakia destroyed the remainder of cluster munitions retained for research and training purposes. In July 2021, a Slovakian Ministry of Defence official told the Monitor that “we can declare that Slovakia is not retaining cluster munitions for research and training purposes anymore.”[21]

Initially, Slovakia retained six M26 rockets for the development of stockpile destruction techniques at the Zahorie Military Technical and Testing Institute. It destroyed one M26 rocket in 2016.[22] The other five rockets and 3,220 M77 DPICM submunitions were destroyed during 2020.[23]

In 2015, Slovakia told States Parties that “we plan to destroy all our stockpiles.”[24]

 


[1] Act No. 392/2011 Coll. and Act No. 300/2005 Coll. as Amended. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 28 June 2016.

[2] The time period covered by the initial report is described as “initial,” while subsequent reports cover the previous calendar year.

[3] For more details on Slovakia’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 239–242. In 2011, Wikileaks released three United States (US) diplomatic cables from the period January 2007 and May 2008 that show the US consulted regularly with Slovakian government officials during the Oslo Process. See, for example, “Cluster munitions are not landmines,” US Department of State cable 07BRATISLAVA41, dated 22 January 2007, released by Wikileaks on 1 September 2011. “Draft Action Plan for the Implementation of the Commitments of the Slovak Republic under the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” attached to Letter No. 590.736/2014-OKOZ, from Miroslav Lajčák, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to Sarah Blakemore, Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), 25 April 2014.

[4] The Slovak government adopted decree No. 810/2008 on 6 November 2008 on the “analysis of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and proposal for further action.” The decree required the Ministry of Defense, in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, to develop an action plan aimed at a gradual process leading to the fulfillment of obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

[5] Slovakia participated as an observer in the convention’s Meetings of States Parties in 2011 and 2012, as well as intersessional meetings in Geneva in 2015 and then as a State Party in the convention’s First Review Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia in September 2015.

[6]Implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 75/62, 7 December 2020.

[7] Statement of Slovakia, UNGA First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, New York, 26 October 2015.

[8]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution 75/193, 16 December 2020. Slovakia voted in favor of similar UNGA resolutions in 2014–2019. See also, “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” Human Rights Council Resolution 43/28, 22 June 2020. Slovakia also voted in favor of similar HRC resolutions in 2018–2019.

[9] In April 2014, Slovakia’s deputy prime minister stated that “the Ministry of Defense of Slovakia has already banned the use of cluster munitions by the Slovak army.” Letter No. 590.736/2014-OKOZ, from Miroslav Lajčák, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to Sarah Blakemore, CMC, 25 April 2014. In 2009, the minister of defense stated that cluster munitions are not in service with Slovak troops deployed in military operations outside the territory of Slovakia. Letter from Jaroslav Baška, Minister of Defense, 16 June 2009.

[10] In May 2010, Slovakia announced that its armed forces have “adopted a new policy of not purchasing cluster munitions.” The minister of defense confirmed in June 2010 that the “purchase of additional cluster munitions for the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic is not expected.” Slovakia, “Position paper on the Cluster Munitions,” provided to the CMC by the Embassy of the Slovak Republic to the United Kingdom, 25 May 2010.

[12] The 152mm artillery projectile containing DPICM-type submunitions with a self-destructing capability and the 122mm AGAT rocket containing 50 dual-purpose and six incendiary submunitions. Both types of submunition can self-destruct. Terry Gander and Charles Cutshaw, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2001–2002 (Surrey: Jane’s Information Group, 2001), pp. 321 and 627. At some point, ZVS Holding apparently also offered a 98mm K-PT mortar projectile containing self-destructing DPICM-type submunitions.

[13] Cluster Munition Monitor previously listed a Slovak company called Technopol International (TI) as producing the AGAT 122mm cargo ammunition, but its relationship to ZVS Holding is unclear. In June 2011, a representative of TI informed the Monitor that the company advertised the 122mm AGAT rocket for export and had produced and exported the weapon “many times” during the past decade. Telephone interview with Bajca Dusan, Director, TI, 13 June 2011. However, by July 2013, TI’s website no longer listed the 122mm AGAT rocket.

[14] According to the note, anticipated exports to Cyprus, Poland, Turkey, and the UAE were not concluded. The most extensive negotiations were apparently with the Turkish firm ROKETSAN, which supplies the Turkish Armed Forces. In 2011, a contract was prepared to produce 8,000 AGAT cluster munition rockets at a cost of €25.6 million, but Turkey’s Ministry of Defense did not sign-off on it, apparently due to financial reasons.

[15] In 2004, Germany transferred 270 M26 rockets and transferred another 132 in 2005. Submission of Germany, UN Register of Conventional Arms, Report for Calendar Year 2004, 26 May 2005; and Report for Calendar Year 2005, 1 June 2006. In February 2009, the Slovak Ministry of Defense reportedly cancelled further orders of M26 rockets. “Slovak Defense Ministry cancels orders for cluster munitions,” Zibb, 3 February 2009. The original source cited is the Slovak News Agency (SITA) website, Bratislava, BBC Monitoring.

[16] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 28 June 2016. Slovakia initially indicated in 2014 that it stockpiled 899 cluster munitions: 602 AGAT rockets, 67 M26 rockets, 95 RBK-series bombs, and 135 KMGU dispensers. See, explanatory note, Slovakian Government, “Draft Action Plan for the Implementation of the Commitments of the Slovak Republic under the Convention on Cluster Munitions,” undated.

[17] Letter No. 590.7564/2015-OKOZ, from Karol Mistrik, Slovakia Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, to Mary Wareham, HRW, 16 April 2015.

[20] Ibid., Form J, April 2021.

[21] Email to the Monitor from Katarina Joscakova, Slovak Verification Centre, Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic, 22 July 2021.

[24] Statement of Slovakia, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 7 September 2015.