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    SOME 4,000,000 MINES TO BE ELIMINATED IN BELARUS FOR 4 YEARS

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    MINSK, February 26 (RIA Novosti corr. Olesya Luchaninova) - From March 1, 2004, the Ottawa Convention Banning Landmines enters into force for Belarus.

    Belarussian foreign ministry official Alexei Shchuplyaka told a Thursday briefing that the most important commitment on the Convention for the Belarussian side is elimination in four years' time of the stock of anti-personnel mines from the arsenals of the former USSR, which number some four million.

    "The Belarussian side approaches the resolution of this issue that is important both for national security and the world community with all responsibility," the official said.

    In his words, the republic intends to continue experience exchange and actively cooperate with countries-members of the Ottawa Convention.

    The decision on Belarus' joining this international agreement was taken by decree of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko in July 2003.

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