Armenia abolishes requirement for draftees to serve more than 150km from their place of residence
The government of Armenia has approved a draft law today which abolishes the requirement that a draftee may not serve in a military unit stationed less than 150km away from their place of residence. The draft on ‘Military Service and Servicemen Status’ was presented to the government by the Defence Ministry. Vigen Sargsyan, the Armenian Defence Minister, explained that the requirement was introduced earlier for a number of reasons, the most important being maintaining discipline. The measure was apparently aimed at keeping draftees from absconding and returning to their homes. According to the new proposed law, a draftee’s place of military service will be determined through a random selection procedure. In the Minister’s words, the Armenian Armed Forces are well-established and ‘capable of solving such problems in the military units, so there is no reason why draftees can’t serve in a military unit near their places of residence, based on the same draw’. The government also abolished the provision under which certain categories of draftees, who were ranked differently based on family or other reasons, could serve closer to their place of residence. According to Sargsyan, this privilege didn’t actually yield anything. The aim was to promote servicemen’s communication with their family members, but during their service the soldiers still didn’t have the opportunity. Now though, the servicemen’s parents have recently been given the chance to visit their sons at their military units from time to time. Parents are taken to the units where their children are serving as part of a program jointly implemented by the Mayor’s Office and regional administrations.