TBILISI, DFWatch — Spring recruitment for compulsory military service has started. Citizens from 18 to 27 year will be recruited — about 1 650 persons in total.

This is a significant decrease from 4 347 in 2012.

Gocha Kharshiladze, chair of the military service recruitment coordination service, said at a press conference Thursday that 600 will be recruited at the Defense Ministry, 670 at the Interior Ministry and 365 at the Prison Ministry.

If a draftee evades compulsory military service, he will be fined USD 600. Currently, the process of medical examination has started and from February 15 recruits will be officially registered.

If a person wants to postpone his military service for 18 months, he must pay USD 1 200.

The president has signed a decree about recruitment at compulsory military service for 2013. Last year, 1 300 citizens were recruited at the Interior Ministry; this year the number has dropped to 670.

The number of recruits at the Prison Ministry last year was 650, this year it is 365. Last year, the number of recruits at the Defense Ministry was 2 397, now it is 600.

Meanwhile, a few days ago there started recruitment for contracted military service and the Defense Ministry started PR activities all over the country, which includes distribution of leaflets and bulletins.

“We desire and we plan to fully transform Georgia’s armed forces to a military service based on contract,” Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said in January, adding that the length of service and number of recruits will be reduced, and there will be a transition to a professional army in four years.