Ukraine and Georgia plan to suspend conscription. Again.


Recently, two nations have re-announced a cessation in conscription, having postponed previous plans to abolish conscription.

Ukranian Defense Minister Pavlo Lebedev has said that military conscription will be suspended in 2013. The press service of the Defense Ministry quoted Lebedev as saying that “In 2013, the structure and the system of management of the Armed Forces will be revised, military conscription will be suspended simultaneously with the transfer to the recruitment of army under contracts as in leading countries of the world".

This is the second time that announcements have been made claiming that conscription will be suspended. President Viktor Yushchenko told a defence ministry meeting in November 2007 that "The last conscription is in the fall of 2009. Then a professional army will start".

Similarly, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania told a newspaper in January that Georgia will move towards a fully professional army within four years. “The term of compulsory military service will be gradually reduced [from current 15 months] to 12 months, and then we will fully move to a contract-based army” said Alasania. “We should not be forcing anyone to be enrolled in the army”, he added.

In 2007, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence claimed that from 2009, there would be no more conscription in Georgia. On the contrary, as Alasania stated, the length of conscription has actually risen since 2007.

Sources: Civil Georgia, Alasania: Georgia Plans Fully Professional Army in Four Years, 7 January 2013; Civil Georgia, Term of Compulsory Military Service to Increase, 17 February 2012; Ukranian News Agency, Defense Ministry Projects Suspension Of Military Conscription In 2013, 17 February 2012; RIA Novisti, Georgia to build contract military after 2009 - defense official, 26 April 2007

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