Will Only Volunteers Serving on the Contract Be Sent to 'Hot Spots'?

Since the projected reform involves a recruitment for the armed forces on a contract basis, "only volunteers serving on contract are going to be sent to 'hot spots'," Lieutenant-General Vasily Smirnov, Deputy Chief of the General Staff told the media in Moscow today.

There are plans to transfer, in 2004 to 2005, all the units and divisions of the interior forces, frontier forces and armed forces deployed in the North Caucasus and adjacent areas, to this recruitment pattern "in order to exclude conscripted sergeants and soldiers doing their military service," the general reminded.

He went on to say that the new recruitment pattern would start with hiring sergeants and sergeants-major, then soldiers and seamen, which defines the units' combat efficiency. Next stage will include staffing provision units. However, the recruitment for the army on a contract basis will only start after the development of the necessary infrastructure of military cantonments.

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