Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 28 November 2013


Nagorno-Karabakh is not recognized by any UN member state. Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the parliament of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Province voted in 1988 to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) and join the Armenian SSR, which resulted in armed conflict from 1988 to 1994. The region declared independence as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in 1991.

Authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh have not taken any unilateral steps to ban antipersonnel mines. Nagorno-Karabakh’s political and military leaders have stated their support for an eventual ban on antipersonnel mines but have indicated that, even if eligible to do so, Nagorno-Karabakh would not join the Mine Ban Treaty until the conflict with Azerbaijan is resolved and all states in the region support a ban on antipersonnel mines.[1]

Use, production, transfer, and stockpiling

Nagorno-Karabakh has stated that it has never produced or exported mines, and has not purchased new mines since 1995. Its antipersonnel mine stockpile consists of mines left over from the Soviet Union (OZM-72, PMN-2, and POMZ-2 mines).

In July 2013, Nagorno-Karabakh’s military chief, General Movses Hakobian, was reported by the media to state that “his forces have placed more anti-personnel landmines this year along the Armenian-Azerbaijani ‘line of contact’ east and north of the disputed territory.”[2] General Hakobian said the use was aimed at preventing sabotage attacks by Azerbaijani troops.

In a 4 September 2013 response to a letter by the ICBL to authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh seeking clarification, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nagorno-Karabakh did not deny the allegations and confirmed that “due to the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan…today we are not in a position to refrain from using AP [antipersonnel] mines for defensive purposes along the line of contact.” He also wrote, “these mines are neither aimed at the civilian population nor at the extermination of the adversary but for limiting its advances and ceasing any possible military aggression against us.”[3]


[1] Meetings between Naira Melkoumian, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Masis Mailian, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Nagorno-Karabakh Committee of the ICBL, Stepanakert, 1–2 February 2002; and interview with Irina Beglaryan, Head of Political Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Stepanakert, 3 February 2006.

[2]  Lusine Musayelian, “Karabakh Enhances Defense Capabilities,” Asbarez (Stepanakert), 26 July 2013,

[3] “ICBL gravely concerned about use of antipersonnel mines by Nagorno-Karabakh,” ICBL (Geneva), 20 September 2013,