Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia is gradually moving away from the compulsory military service model, and will abandon it completely “sometime later”, RIA Novosti reports.
“We should bear in mind that we are gradually moving away from compulsory service in general,” the president said, adding that this process is taking place more slowly than planned due to budgetary limitations.
“But we are still working and will continue to work to ensure that it won’t be long before this matter is no longer relevant,” Putin concluded.
He explained that Russia is developing “scientific companies”, and there are plans to create a skill-intensive clusters for young specialists. They will be intended for university graduates, who will be able to “undergo not an alternative, but a real compulsory military service, while using the best of their knowledge and skills”.
The autumn conscription began on October 1. According to Putin’s decree, by December 31, 134 000 people should be drafted into military service.
According to RBC news agency, in 2016 the army-related budget expenditure was more than double the expenditure on all the rest of the law enforcement agencies combined. 2.9 trillion rubles ($50 billion USD) from Russia’s budget were allocated to the Armed Forces. Around 1.3 trillion rubles ($20 billion USD) were allocated to the Interior Ministry, FSB, National Guard, Prosecutor’s General Office, Investigative Committee and the now liquidated FSKN (Federal Drug Control Service of Russia).
Earlier in October, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demanded that Russia abolish compulsory military service in the annexed Crimea.