Mine Action

Last updated: 11 September 2012

Contamination and Impact


In 1998, the Defense Staff of Finland stated in a press release that there were no peacetime minefields in the country.[1] In 2011, the Ministry of Defense informed the Monitor that there were no minefields along Finland’s eastern border, but acknowledged that both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines remained in the country from World War II.[2]

Cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war

There are no reports of contamination from cluster munition remnants. According to the Ministry of Defense, “as far as they know,” no cluster munitions were used on Finnish soil.[3] However, other explosive remnants of war (ERW) remain from World War II as a result of action by German, Soviet, and Finnish military forces.[4] Most of the contamination is found on the former eastern battlefields and especially in the north of the country. Known battlefields and other dangerous areas are recorded in a database maintained by the defense forces. When former military areas are handed over for civilian use they are first cleared by the defense forces, if needed.[5]

Mine Action Program

There is no civilian mine action program in Finland. All clearance is conducted by the military, with occasional help from the police. No private companies are used for clearance.[6]

Land Release

In its latest annual transparency report in accordance with Article 10 of Protocol V on explosive remnants of war of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), Finland reported that, between April 2011 and April 2012, Finland destroyed more than 17,000 items of explosive ordnance in 290 interventions.[7]

Compliance with Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Finland is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 July 2022. Finland’s initial Article 7 transparency report, which is due by 28 December 2012, will help to clarify whether Finland has any clearance obligations under the treaty.


[1] Statement of Brig. Gen. Kari Rimpi, Defense Staff, Press release, 2 December 1998.

[2] Email from Pentti Olin, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Defense, Helsinki, 14 February 2011.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Email from Pentti Olin, Ministry of Defense, Helsinki, 14 February 2011.

[7] CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012), Form A.