Safe destruction of anti-personnel landmines and munitions in Moldova
The NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), is developing a detailed plan to safely destroy stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines (APL's) and potentially dangerous munitions and military supplies held by the government of Moldova. Material assistance and training will be given to Moldovan military engineers to carry out the destruction of nearly 12,000 APL's, helping Moldova to meet its Ottawa Convention obligations. The plan will encompass destruction of some 362 tonnes (250 cubic metres) of liquid propellant oxidizer, a leak of which is potentially very dangerous to the nearby environment. Additionally the plan will also deal with site remediation.
On the basis of the plan being developed by NAMSA, the Netherlands will take the lead in establishing a PfP Trust Fund to provide financial resources for the destruction. A number of NATO Allies have expressed willingness to contribute to the Fund. This would be the second project of this time undertaken as a part of the PfP Trust Fund initiative, following a project launched in Albania to destroy some 1.4 million APL's there.
Moldova is an active and valuable Partnership for Peace (PfP) and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) member. This initiative is being undertaken in addition to the extensive programme of civil-military cooperation already underway with Moldova. Allies remain committed to helping Moldova, in particular by reducing its weapons and munitions stockpile.
The decision to establish a Trust Fund follows a fact-finding mission to Moldova 5-9 February 2001 led by the Netherlands and supported by NAMSA. On 22 February the NATO Political-Military Steering Committee on Partnership for Peace met with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Moldova to discuss the results of this visit and proposals for the safe destruction of the APLs and munitions.