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MOSCOW, October 13 (Itar-Tass) — Russian postgraduates will not be drafted to the army although they are obliged to attend meetings of call- up commissions, the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass on Thursday. " Citizens eligible for military service who continue education at postgraduate departments upon graduation from institutes are not planned to be sent to troops", the press service said. The rule applies to all institutes and scientific establishments, it said.
Nonetheless, citizens belonging to this category continue to receive summons to attend meetings of call-up commissions. "This is necessary so that postgraduates could confirm their status, " the press service said. Postgraduates are to present their graduation diploma and a special certificate which confirms the date when they were enlisted to postgraduate departments and stipulates the number of a document confirming their enlistment to an educational or a scientific establishment as well as the date of the expiry of their educational curriculum and defense of a postgraduate thesis.
During the call- up campaign in 2010 around 18, 500 postgraduates were granted draft postponement; in spring 2011 around 4, 000 postgraduates were not called up, according to the defense ministry's data.
On October 11 a block of amendments to the bill " On Military Service" were submitted to the State Duma for approval with the aim to ultimately remove loopholes in respect to compulsory military service for postgraduates. One of the amended clauses of the bill envisages that as of January 1, 2012 postgraduates with state accreditation at higher educational or scientific establishments are relieved from the draft for a period of tuition which shall not exceed a period needed for education according to basic educational programs. The postponement remains in effect for a period of the defense of a postgraduate thesis, but shall not exceed one year upon completion of a postgraduate education, the amended bill said.