Conscripts and reservists who are called to arms will receive draft notices online under new legislation
Russian lawmakers have backed a bill that introduces electronic draft notices for conscripts and reservists and also imposes restrictions on those trying to evade military service. The bill was passed almost unanimously by the State Duma – the lower house of Russia’s parliament – with all but one MP backing it.
Under the new rules, a conscript or reservist would receive a draft notice via his account on the electronic public service portal “Gosuslugi”, which is used in Russia for a wide range of public services, from paying taxes to obtaining various documents. Notices can also be served in so-called multifunctional public service centers – a kind of unified public service office in Russia helping citizens to solve most bureaucratic problems.
Under the bill, some of the more traditional ways of delivering draft notices will also remain. Conscripts and reservists will still be able to receive them personally from a military recruiting officer, through their place of work, or via registered mail.
Authorities will create a new public register of draft notices, the bill says. A notice is automatically considered served one week after it is registered as delivered even if the addressee has not acknowledged receipt, the bill says. The legislation also obliges local authorities, tax offices, police departments, medical organizations and other public institutions to provide all the data needed to build a unified database of conscripts and reservists. The police must also search for people dodging a military contract or conscription, the text of the bill adds.
Draft runners would face some restrictions if the bill comes into force. People who received a summons would be banned from leaving Russia from the day the notice is considered delivered, according to the law.
A person who has received a summons but fails to show up at a recruiting office within 20 days of receiving it without a valid reason would be barred from registering as a sole proprietor or self-employed person. Such an individual would also be deprived of the right to real estate and would have his driving license suspended. Nor could the refractory conscript apply for a loan in Russia. All restrictions must be lifted within 24 hours of a person arriving at a recruiting office, the bill adds.
The legislation also relaxes certain procedures related to military registration. People will be able to register with the Russian military authorities or cancel this registration, as well as provide the data requested by the military authorities via the Internet. Currently, a visit to a recruiting office is required for this.
The bill still needs to be debated and potentially passed by the Federation Council of Russia – the upper house of parliament. After that, it should be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin. The Federation Council announced that it would consider the bill on Wednesday.
The legislation was introduced during the annual spring prescription campaign in Russia. According to MP Andrey Kartapolov, the ongoing project, which is due to end in July, will not be affected by the new rules.
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