Men over 27 who have not served in the army can pay between 5 and 5.5 million AMD and return to Armenia without facing punishment: New bill

Armenian citizens who have not served in the army, are currently under criminal investigation, and who are not in Armenia can return to Armenia by paying the equivalent of a contract soldier’s 2-year salary and bonuses. According to preliminary calculations, this will amount to between 5 and 5.5 million AMD.

My Step deputy Mkhitar Hayrapetyan spoke about this with journalists. He was one of the co-authors of this draft. The other authors were Arman Babajanyan and Andranik Kocharyan.

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The Law on Citizens who have not completed compulsory military service and are in violation of the established procedure has not been in effect since March of 2019. The last time changes were made to the law and the duration was extended, an agreement was made that it would be the last time for that to have happened. It was agreed that people who did not serve in the military would no longer have the opportunity to pay a fine and consider themselves to have carried out their duty. According to the current law, if someone who did not serve in the military returns to Armenia, they will be imprisoned and subject to criminal prosecution.

Mkhitar Hayrapetyan said that he has received hundreds of letters asking the government to find some sort of solution. This was their suggestion. Five million AMD will not be the fixed amount; if the salary of contract soldiers increases, then that number will increase as well. The other option is that these individuals can return, pay the fine, and serve in the army for three years to receive the money back. The statute of limitations, which was set at 37 years after which the criminal case would be terminated, is set at 20 years according to the bill. This decision would apply to them until they are 47 years old.

The government has not yet expressed its opinion on this bill.

Hripsime Jebejyan

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