Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 22 December 2023


The Republic of Armenia has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty.

According to its statements and government officials, Armenia cannot join the treaty until its territorial dispute with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh has been resolved. In June 2021, Armenia stated that it values the Mine Ban Treaty but has not signed it as the decision is linked to “the security environment in our region” and the “principle of reciprocity.”[1]

In 2010, Armenia told the Monitor that it supports the treaty and values the idea of transparency and confidence-building measures, but “cannot become a member of the Mine Ban Treaty at this moment.”[2] Armenia participated in the 1996–1997 Ottawa Process that created the Mine Ban Treaty, but did not attend the Oslo negotiations. Armenia was present at the treaty’s signing conference as an observer.

Armenia has attended several meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty as an observer, most recently the Twentieth Meeting of States Parties held in Geneva in November 2022.[3]

In December 2022, Armenia voted in favor of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 77/63 calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.[4] Armenia has also voted in favor of previous annual UNGA resolutions on the treaty.

Armenia is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) or the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Armenia has stated several times that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[5]

Armenia inherited a stockpile of landmines from the break-up of the Soviet Union but has not provided information on the size or composition of this stockpile, as such information is regarded as sensitive.[6]

In September 2022, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense released a statement, along with a video, claiming to have found 100 Armenian-made PMN-E antipersonnel mines, eight PMN-2 antipersonnel mines, and 10 antitank mines on territories and supply roads between the positions of Azerbaijani army units.[7] The initial claim of Armenian production of antipersonnel mines is a recent development was difficult to confirm by non-Azerbaijani sources.

Later in September 2022, hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan reignited and Azerbaijan claimed that Armenian forces had “mined the territories and supply roads” of Azerbaijani army units.[8] The previous month, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense claimed to have cleared a total of 1,318 PMN-E antipersonnel mines in the Lachin region.[9] Armenia denied these claims and stated in a letter to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), dated 13 September 2022, that Azerbaijan was “disseminating false information…in preparation for launching armed aggression.”[10]

However, since these allegations emerged, reputable technical sources have listed the PMN-E antipersonnel mine and attributed its production to Armenia.[11] The Monitor has added Armenia to its list of countries that produce antipersonnel mines. While many questions remain about the origin and specific production details of the PMN-E mine, the Monitor considers that “production” could also include modifying the original manufacturer’s product for improved performance in combat and then re-loading, re-assembling, and re-packaging the items into a condition suitable for storage or use.


Armenian officials have stated that Armenia last used antipersonnel mines during the 1992–1994 conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.[12] Armenia regards mines laid along its border with Azerbaijan as essential to its defense.[13]

Azerbaijan alleges past use by Armenia, and alleges that it used antipersonnel landmines during fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied districts in September–November 2020. In April 2021, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement alleging that “during almost three decades of occupation of the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan, Armenia deliberately laid mines in these territories, as a result of which there had been numerous casualties among the Azerbaijani military and civilians.” Moreover, it alleged that “Armenia also deliberately planted mines on a massive scale during its forced withdrawal following the counter-offensive operation of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan.”[14]

At the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings in June 2021, Armenia denied using antipersonnel mines during the 2020 conflict. It further stated that during their withdrawal, Armenian forces lacked the time possible to mine areas that subsequently came under Azerbaijan’s control.[15] According to Armenia, the majority of territory taken by Azerbaijan in 2020 was heavily mined by Azerbaijan when it previously controlled those areas in the early 1990s.

On 27 May 2021, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces captured six Armenian soldiers that it said were attempting to lay mines in the settlement of Yukhari Ayrim, in the Kalbajar border region.[16] Armenia’s Ministry of Defense said that the soldiers were detained while carrying out “engineering work.”[17] Armenia’s prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, told a government meeting that the Armenian soldiers emplaced mines along sections of the border to strengthen security and installed warning signs.[18] At the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings held in June 2021, Armenia’s representative did not confirm or deny the alleged landmine use in the border area in May 2021.

On 12 June 2021, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 15 detained Armenians had been handed back over to Armenia in exchange for maps showing the location of around 97,000 landmines laid in the Aghdam region, one of seven territories outside Nagorno-Karabakh that Azerbaijan regained control over during the 2020 conflict.[19] However, according to Azerbaijan’s president Iham Aliyev, the accuracy of these maps does not exceed 25%.[20]

In January 2023, Azerbaijan reported that, “Since August 2022, Azerbaijan has discovered over 2,700 recently manufactured Armenian-produced landmines in the Lachin and Kalabjari Districts.” It added that an Armenian landmine instruction manual discovered near the minefields, as well as markings found on the mines, demonstrated “that all of them are antipersonnel mines produce[d] in Armenia in 2021.”[21]

On 19 September 2023, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs claimed that at least six people had died in two incidents in the Azeri Khojavend district, allegedly due to landmines planted by Armenia’s security forces.[22]

[1] Statement of Armenia, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, held virtually, 21 June 2021.

[2] A letter to the Monitor stated: “Armenia believes that once an agreement on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is reached, a complete and safe demining of the areas affected by the conflict will become possible in cooperation with all parties concerned.” Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Head of Department of Arms Control and International Security, Armenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010.

[3] Armenia has never participated in a Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, but attended Meetings of States Parties as an observer in 2002, 2006, 2008, 2021, and 2022, as well as several intersessional meetings.

[5] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Armenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 29 April 2010.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense, “Mines buried by provocateurs of the Armenian armed forces were detected,” 17 September 2022; and Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense, “Liberated territories of Azerbaijan are being cleared of Armenian mines,” 8 September 2022.

[9] Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense, “Uchdik-Girkhgiz-Saribaba high grounds are cleared of Armenian mines,” 22 August 2022. 

[10] Letter from the Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations (UN), addressed to the President of the UNSC, 13 September 2022.

[11] Fenix Insight, “PMN-E Mine: Armenia,” undated.

[12] Letter from Armen Yedigarian, Armenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 9 June 2009; and email from Arman Akopian, Director for Arms Control and International Security, Armenia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 24 August 2005. See also, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2005: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2005), pp. 658–659. Azerbaijan accused Armenian armed forces of continuing to use antipersonnel mines in 2007 and 2008, but did not provide any evidence to substantiate the claims. See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2009: Toward a Mine-Free World (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, October 2009), p. 873.

[13] Interview with Col. Vostanik Adoyan, Head of Engineering Corps, Armenia Ministry of Defense, Yerevan, 25 February 2004.

[15] Statement of Armenia, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, held virtually, 21 June 2021.

[17] Ani Avetisyan, “Six Armenian Soldiers Captured by Azerbaijani Forces,” OC Media, 27 May 2021.

[19] Joshua Kucera, “Armenia and Azerbaijan exchange detainees for mine maps,” Eurasianet, 12 June 2021.

[20] President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, “The CNN Turk TV channel has interviewed Ilham Aliyev,” 14 August 2021.

[21]Request for the Indication of Provisional Measures of Protection,” Interpretation and Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, Republic of Azerbaijan v. Republic of Armenia, International Court of Justice (ICJ), 3 January 2023, pp. 7–13.