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Georgia abolishes the draft, rare step in post-Soviet region

June 27, 2016

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Georgia is abolishing conscription, becoming one of the first former Soviet republics no longer to require men to serve in the military.

Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli signed the order on Monday, saying all Georgian men should still want to serve their country but those who do not want to do so will no longer be forced into uniform.

Of the 15 former Soviet republics, only Lithuania and Latvia have abolished conscription. Lithuania, however, recently reintroduced it and Latvia is considering doing the same.

Georgia has aspirations of joining NATO, and its military regularly conducts joint exercises with U.S. troops to obtain the training necessary to operate alongside the Western alliance.

The county has been the largest non-NATO contributor to the mission in Afghanistan.

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