UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A senior official in the global campaign against the use of landmines on Monday urged Russia to stop its troops in Ukraine from planting the weapons that too often kill and maim civilians.

Alicia Arango Olmos, Colombia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva and this year’s chair of states parties to the 1997 convention banning the production and use of landmines, expressed deep concern over media reports that Russia uses landmines in its war in Ukraine. .

She pointed to Human Rights Watch, which said on March 29 that Ukrainian explosive ordnance disposal technicians had located banned landmines in the eastern Kharkiv region a day earlier. The rights group said Russia is known to have the type of mines that were discovered, but Ukraine does not.

Arango Olmos told a press conference – International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action – on Monday that Ukraine is one of 164 states parties to the convention, but Russia is not.


She said her appeal to Russia is: “Anti-personnel mines only cause victims, they do not solve any type of problem.

“So please Russians, please stop using it, because a lot of landmine victims have nothing to do with what is happening between Ukraine and Russia,” said Arango Olmos.

Prince Mired of Jordan, the special envoy trying to make the landmines convention universal, said about 80% of the world’s nations are party to the convention. He said 33 countries had not joined, some of which may collectively hold tens of millions of antipersonnel mines in military warehouses and have unfortunately buried millions more in the ground.

Some countries that are not parties have “the power to dramatically reverse the tide and eliminate this horrible weapon such as China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the United States”, he said. . “A coordinated and concerted effort is needed at the highest level in order to obtain new membership. It won’t be easy, but it is possible.