GEORGIA: Defense Ministry Reinstates Conscription

The Georgian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reintroduced compulsory military service, which had been abolished several months ago by the former Minister Tinatin Khidasheli. This was an expected move by the current Defence Minister, Levan Izoria, who announced his plan to reintroduce conscription in November 2016.

The new system, as announced by the MoD in a 14 February statement, differs “significantly and qualitatively” from the old one.

According to the new system, there will be a “comprehensive” preparatory combat training for three months, following which conscripts will serve as duty officers for nine months. Different from the old system, the conscripts will need to complete “combat preparation hours” on a daily basis for the remaining nine months as well.

According to MoD there will be “an improved social benefits package” for the conscripts and they will also be able to use days-off.

Compulsory military service with Georgia’s MoD was abolished by former defence minister Tinatin Khidasheli in June 2016. The move, however, did not mean a total prohibition of compulsory recruitment into the armed forces as the decree issued by the former minister was only applicable to the MoD. In Georgia the bulk of recruitment of conscripts is made by other ministries and state agencies such as the Interior Ministry, the State Security Agency, Special State Protection Service (SSPS), the ministry in charge of the penitentiary system, and the intelligence service.

Source: Civil.ge, Defense Ministry Reinstates Conscription, 15th February 2017