Armenian conscripts to be deprived of old privileges, provided with new ones

Fri 01 September 2017 08:41 GMT | 12:41 Local Time

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The Armenian government at the meeting on Thursday approved two bills "On Defense" and "On military service and the status of a serviceman."

In line with the bills, it is planned to review the drafting system, including to abolish certain unproductive privileges for conscripts, replacing them with more effective methods.

Vigen Sargsyan, the Minister of Defense of Armenia, said that bills are aimed at bringing legal mechanisms in line with the new Constitution, the need to consolidate the laws in the defense sphere, as well as provision of a legal basis for the implementation of the "Nation-Army" concept, in particular, implementation of "I have an Honor" and "It's me" programs.

According to him, the bills revise the grounds for the release or postponement of military service, as well as a number of procedures in the organization of drafting.

In particular, as the minister noted, the requirement for service at a distance of at least 150 km from the house is eliminated. On the basis of the lottery, the recruits will have the opportunity to serve in the military unit, which is closer to the place of  their residence.

"We will also eliminate privileges for special categories of citizens, in particular, on serving at a distance of no more than 150 km from the house, as often this distance, for example, to residents of Tavush region, meant that their children will serve in the front line and not will be able to visit relatives, therefore, the privilege was purely formal," Sargsyan said.

According to him, this privilege is proposed to be replaced by another one. These citizens will carry combat duty only on their own initiative under "It's me" program which will also give them the opportunity to take advantage of two additional days-off throughout the service.

"While an ordinary soldier has the right to one legal leave, this category of servicemen will receive three holidays, having the opportunity to go on vacation every six months during the service," Sargsyan said.

The minister also said that legislative amendments envisage eliminating another restriction. Earlier, if two or more brothers fell under one call, they were given the opportunity to serve in one unit.

"We decided to allow children from the same family, irrespective of the call-up, to serve in the same military unit, which will also facilitate their conditions of service and the opportunity to meet with their parents," Sargsyan said.

As the minister noted, innovations also affect the system of military education. In particular, while today cadets who study at a military educational institution, under a contract with the university, undertake to serve for at least 20 years, under the new legislation they will be able to conclude contracts for a period of 10 to 20 years.

The package of legislative changes is planned to be submitted in the parliament by the end of the year, so that the components of the state programs "I have an Honor" and "It's me" become valid for the winter appeal.




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