MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. Russia may switch to contract enlistment entirely with time, but it is crucial to have a mobilization reserve, which is now comprised of conscripts, says Russian Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security head Viktor Bondarev.
"Twice a year we conscript 150,000 people, although we can conscript more. People are eager to serve. I think that, with time, we might switch to contract enlistment entirely, but at this moment, we have the exact system of enlistment that allows both to pay for the contract servicemen and train conscripts. The most important thing is to have a mobilization reserve," Bondarev underscored.
According to Bondarev, there is an interest for serving in the Army in to society. This interest is in part supported by the 2017 law that forbids people who did not serve in the Army without legal excuse to assume government and municipal offices for 10 years, the lawmaker opined.
"We have already adopted the contract basis; we have almost 400,000 contract servicemen now. A paid solder is highly trained, prepared, he has at least specialized secondary education. There are contract soldiers with higher education, which allows them to move up through the ranks. But a conscript is a conscript, he is a mobilization reserve, he is obliged to serve regardless," Bondarev said.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that conscription is fading into the past, adding that current Armed Forces technical level implies less and less involvement of unqualified personnel.