Defence Ministry: Compulsory conscription will be restored

Independence Day celebration in Tbilisi, Georgia on May 26, 2016. Photo by N. Alavidze/, 07 Nov 2016 - 15:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

Compulsory military service at Georgia’s Defence Ministry will be restored but with some changes, announced Georgia’s Minister of Defence.

Today Levan Izoria presented a report summing up the past 100 days since he became Georgia’s Defence Minister. At the presentation he spoke about compulsory military service after being abolished several months ago.

During the past three months we have been learning the best international practices together with our partners and we came up with the decision to restore compulsory conscription,” Izoria said.

He said mandatory military service was "a better option" for the state in terms of finances.

The state spends from 25,000 to 26,000 GEL a year on a contract-based serviceman while it spends 9,000 a year on an army conscript,” Izoria said.

Regarding the changes, the Defence Minister said conscripts would be released from service on weekend and official holidays and they would also enjoy a 50 GEL salary increase.

Izoria added conscripts would go through exactly the same military training as those on contract-based service.

Compulsory military service with Georgia’s Defence Ministry was abolished upon the decision by former defence minister Tinatin Khidasheli in June 2016.

However Khidasheli’s decision did not mean compulsory service was abolished entirely in the country. Two other agencies in Georgia – the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Corrections – were still authorised to recruit the country's youth for compulsory military service.