A ceremony on 5 December in Borisov marked the destruction of 177,200 anti-personnel landmines as part of NATO's Partnership for Peace Trust Fund project in Belarus.
Belarus acceded to the Ottawa Convention in 2003, declaring a stockpile of more than four million anti-personnel landmines.
At the request of Belarus, NATO offered assistance to help Belarus meet its commitments to destroy all stocks of anti-personnel landmines as set out under the Ottawa Convention on prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction.
The whole task includes destroying 700,000 conventional landmines and will be completed by January 2007.
The destruction work is carried out by the Belarus Corps of Engineers under the supervision of the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA).
Belarus is working together also with the EU to destroy its stockpile of non-conventional anti-personnel landmines by the March 2008 deadline.
This was NATO’s first Partnership for Peace (PfP) Trust Fund project in Belarus. Canada is the lead nation in the project with Lithuania providing additional funding.
There are nine ongoing PfP Trust Fund projects, assisting Partners to meet their international obligations and to manage the consequence of defence reform. All projects are funded by voluntary contributions.
Current projects are estimated at € 33 million.