Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 18 December 2019


Georgia has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Over the years, Georgia has frequently stated its general support for a ban on antipersonnel mines, and has voted in favor of every annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution calling for universalization of the treaty since 1997.

Georgia has not been a frequent participant at Mine Ban Treaty meetings, and did not attend the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2018, nor the intersessional meetings in May 2019. Its last statement at such a meeting was in 2007, when it told States Parties that it “fully shares the principles and objectives” of the treaty, that it “is well aware that the negative humanitarian impact of landmines far outweighs their military value,” and that it “tries to make its possible contribution in facilitation of the process of elimination and eradication of this threat.”[1] In the past, Georgia has insisted that its inability to fulfill the treaty’s obligations in disputed territories not controlled by the government—Abkhazia and South Ossetia—prevents it from acceding.[2] In a meeting with the Monitor in June 2011, a Georgian government official stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was beginning to consider the mine issue.[3]

Campaigners in Georgia participated in the Lend Your Leg global action on 18 February 2012 when NGOs and the Ministry of Sport and Tourism organized a backgammon tournament with survivors of landmines.[4]

Georgia is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and joined CCW Amended Protocol II on landmines on 8 June 2009 and Protocol V on explosive remnants of war on 22 December 2008. It had previously stated it could not adhere to Amended Protocol II for the same reasons given for not joining the Mine Ban Treaty.[5] Georgia is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Production, transfer, and stockpiling

Georgia does not produce, import, or export mines.[6]

Georgia inherited what is believed to be a small stockpile of antipersonnel mines from the Soviet Union.[7] The Ministry of Defense completed an inventory of its antipersonnel mine stockpile in 2010, but did not make information on the size and composition of the stockpile publicly available. The ministry does not plan to destroy its stocks, but commits to safeguard them in a way to avoid dissemination or transfer to another state or non-state actors.[8]


Georgia has had an official moratorium on the use of antipersonnel mines in place since September 1996.[9] In April 2007, a representative from the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told States Parties, “Since that time [1996] corresponding official structures of Georgia have been strictly refraining from use of antipersonnel mines. I have the chance to confirm my country’s firm resolution to keep this commitment in the future.”[10]

Despite its repeated denial of past use, it appears that Georgian armed forces used antipersonnel mines every year from 2001 to 2004, as well as in 2006, mostly in the Upper Kodori Gorge area adjoining the breakaway region of Abkhazia.[11] Opposition forces and Russian peacekeepers also alleged that Georgian forces laid mines in South Ossetia in 2006 and 2007, but the Monitor was not able to confirm the allegations.[12] There were additional allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by both Georgia and Russia during the heavy fighting related to South Ossetia in August 2008. Each side denied the allegations, and investigations by Human Rights Watch did not find evidence of new use of antipersonnel mines.[13]

South Ossetia

South Ossetia is a breakaway region of Georgia that shares a border and has very close ties with Russia.[14] South Ossetian officials have not made any public statements about a mine prohibition and have not taken any unilateral steps to ban antipersonnel mines. Prior to the 2008 conflict, South Ossetia was judged to have only a minor mine problem, and there is no evidence that either side used antipersonnel mines during the conflict. In May 2009, South Ossetian authorities reportedly recovered mines from a cache in Yeredvi village, which they alleged were from Georgia.[15]

[1] Statement by George Dolidze, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation, Geneva, 23 April 2007.

[2] Statement of Georgia, Mine Ban Treaty Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 21 September 2006. In an April 2010 letter to the Monitor, Georgia stated that it “has expressed its support to the spirit of the Mine Ban Treaty and the Cluster Munition Conventions, but the bitter reality on the ground with reference to the security situation in the region did not allow us to adjoin the mentioned conventions. Unfortunately the situation has not changed much and has even worsened security-wise that does not leave us any option other than to stay reluctant to join the conventions until the credible changes occur in the security environment of the region.” “Updated information from the Government of Georgia for annual publication Landmine Monitor Report 2010,” (No. 8/37-02) provided by email from Amb. Giorgi Gorgiladze, Permanent Mission of Georgia to the UN in Geneva, 30 April 2010.

[3] Interview with David Kapanadze, Senior Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the UN in Geneva, Geneva, 21 June 2011.

[5] Statement by George Dolidze, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation, Geneva, 23 April 2007.

[6] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, 25 September 2010, p. 8.

[7] ICBL meeting with David Sikharulidze, Ministry of Defense, Tbilisi, 25 May 2005. In August 2007, Georgia said that it had recovered an undisclosed number of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines from a former Russian army base in Akhalkalaki. Pavel Belov, “Russians Leave Cesium and Landmines Behind in Georgia,” Kommersant, 17 August 2007.

[8] Email from Irakli Kochashvili, Ministry of Defense, 31 March 2010.

[9] The moratorium was proclaimed by President Eduard Shevdarnadze at the UN in September 1996 and has been repeated by officials many times since. See, Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 792; and Note Verbale to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 17 January 2001.

[10] Statement by George Dolidze, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 23 April 2007. Georgia made similar statements previously.

[12] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 826–827.

[14] For background on South Ossetia, see Human Rights Watch, “Up in Flames: Humanitarian Law Violations and Civilian Victims in the Conflict over South Ossetia,” January 2009, pp. 16–20.

[15] “Terrorist cache with arms found in S. Ossetia – minister,” Interfax (South Ossetia), 21 May 2009.