Russia is awaiting clarification from the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Ukraine on the storage of anti-personnel mines in Vrbetice bypassing the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
Zakharova noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry had seen reports of the German newspaper Die Welt on April 17, widely circulated by the international media, that there were “hundreds of antipersonnel mines” in warehouses in the Vrbetice.
“This information casts doubt on the good faith fulfillment by the Czech Republic of its obligations under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. Similar questions arise also to Bulgaria, whose citizen, according to the New York Times, was the owner of the weapons stored in the warehouse, as well as to Ukraine as a potential recipient of these means,” Zakharova noted.
The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that in accordance with the convention’s Article 1, the participating states, among other things, undertake the obligation to never develop, produce, acquire in any other way, accumulate, save or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, anti-personnel mines and not to assist, encourage or induce in any way anyone else to carry out such activities.
“We expect from the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Ukraine necessary clarifications regarding reports on the storage of anti-personnel mines in warehouses in Vrbetice bypassing the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention,” Zakharova said.