Sweden in violation of Ottawa Treaty?

Swedish research that could be used in the manufacture of anti-personnel mines may be in violation of the 1997 international mine ban treaty. 

The research, conducted by scientists with Sweden’s Defense Research Agency, focuses on detonating mechanisms and trying to develop a technique that could automatically destroy or defuse anti-tank mines, which are not prohibited under the so-called Ottawa Treaty. 

While a director at the Defense Ministry says the research is in a preliminary phase and concerns only anti-tank mines, outside experts charge that such research could be easily used for anti-personnel mines—constituting a violation of the treaty. 

Defense officials are refusing to comment until the research is further examined, saying that a legal evaluation of whether the alleged activities contravene Sweden’s international commitments will be requested if needed.