Conventional Arms Control and Confidence- Security-Building Measures
In compliance with its obligations under the international agreements Belarus destroyed large quantities of conventional arms and military equipment. Through destruction of conventional armaments surpluses our country has significantly contributed to strengthening peace and stability in Europe.
Under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) 1773 army tanks, 1341 battle armored machines and 130 battle planes have been destroyed. It constitutes over 10 per cent of the arms and military equipment destroyed by all 30 CFE member states. Belarus took an active part in the negotiations on the Treaty adaptation to new geopolitical landscape, and was the first to ratify the Agreement on Adaptation of the CFE Treaty in July 2000, signed at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul in November 1999. However, this agreement has not yet entered into force because of the linkage made by several CFE State Parties between its ratification and the fulfillment of the commitments not directly related to conventional arms control.
Despite the CFE Treaty does not correspond to the current politico-military situation on the European continent, the Republic of Belarus has consistently and fully implemented the Treaty. After the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the CFE Treaty in November 2023 and the decision of NATO member states to suspend the Treaty, the significance of this document for pan-European security was almost completely lost.
Belarus is also a party to the Treaty on Open Skies. The Treaty is aimed at enhancing more transparency in military field and strengthening of security, confidence and stability in the area of application through conducting observation flights. In November 2020, the U.S. withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty, prompting a similar move by the Russian Federation in December 2021.
Belarus cooperates with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the field of European security. Within the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC), Belarus took part in drafting the OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons (2000) and the OSCE Document on Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (2003). From April to August 2022, Belarus chaired the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation.
Together with OSCE Belarus implemented jointed projects on capacity-building of SALW stockpile management and security and on eliminating liquid rocket fuel components stockpiles (melange, Samin and TM-185).
Belarus is committed to the Vienna Document 2011 on confidence- and security-building measures. In line with the provisions of the Vienna Document the participating States annually exchange information on their armed forces, armaments and equipment, military planning and defence expenditures, conduct inspections and evaluation visits to military formations and units to access the accuracy of the information submitted.
Belarus considers Confidence Building Measures on the regional and sub-regional levels as one of the key elements for strengthening of European security. The President of Belarus declared the strategy of forming a good neighboring and security belt along the borders of Belarus. Following this strategy Belarus signed arrangements with Ukraine and Lithuania (2001), Latvia and Poland (2004) on additional confidence and security measures.
In September 2003, the Republic of Belarus joined the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. After the USSR break-up Belarus possessed the seventh largest stockpile of antipersonnel mines in the world (3.4 mil.). Belarus fully complied with its obligations under the Convention and destroyed all the stockpiles of antipersonnel mines within the joint project with the EU by April 2017.
Fully sharing the humanitarian law principles of protecting civil population from the exposure to certain types of conventional armaments and defending combatants from excessive sufferings, Belarus is a party to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons/CCW) and all Additional Protocols to the Convention. In November 2020, Belarus performed duties of the Chair of the 14th Conference of the States, Parties to the Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War to the CCW (Protocol V to the CCW).
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