Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka and permanent members of the Security Council have discussed changes in conscription rules at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I usually invite you to discuss topical issues of national security. Top on the agenda today is manning of the Armed Forces and other military units. Simply put, this is about the enlistment of our young people in the military service,” he said at the beginning of the meeting.
In accordance with the Constitution, defending the country is an obligation and a ‘sacred duty’ of each citizen, he stressed.
“Every man should be able to defend his country, his family. And he should do it well. In the past almost every Belarusian man served in the army. It was prestigious; therefore young men eagerly joined the Armed Forces. However, in the course of years conscripts were granted a number of military service deferments; so now the number of deferments in Belarus is bigger than in any other state, in particular our neighbouring states,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka.
In his opinion, the consequences of the so-called demographic ‘pitfall’ of the 1990s are getting increasingly pronounced. Over the past 10 years the number of conscripts on record has nearly halved, and in 2018, the conscription targets were not met, the Belarusian leader stated.
“It means our young people have not gone through that experience that teaches skills to defend Fatherland, which directly has to do with Belarus’ national security,” he added.