top of page

Armenian Parliament Passes Bill Allowing Military Service Exemption for Diaspora Armenians

Armenian Parliament Passes Bill Allowing Military Service Exemption for Diaspora Armenians

The National Assembly of Armenia has passed a bill, presented by ruling Civil Contract MP Hayk Sargsyan, that has captured the interest of Armenians in the diaspora. The bill, which amends the Law on Military Service and the Status of Servicemen, received approval in the second and final reading on Tuesday, with 61 MPs voting in favor and 27 against.

The key provision of the bill addresses male Armenian citizens who have not fulfilled their mandatory military service and left Armenia. They will now have the option to return to Armenia after the age of 27 and be exempted from criminal prosecution after completing a two-year military service. Alternately, they can opt for reduced military service durations and corresponding payments, ranging from 1 to 15 months and 2.5 to 15 million drams (approximately $6,000 to $37,000).

The bill also introduces a clause allowing individuals aged 37 (fixed-term service) or 45 (reserve officer service) to be exempted from criminal prosecution. Additionally, male citizens holding dual citizenship, acquired after the age of 27, can be exempted from military service in Armenia if they have served 12 or more months in the army of their country of residence. Alternatively, they can be relieved from military service by paying 2.5 million drams (around $6,000).

Speaking to The Armenian Report, Hayk Sargsyan revealed that nearly 5,000 Armenian citizens, who evaded mandatory military service and reached the age of 27, faced criminal prosecution. Instead of serving up to 5 years in prison, the bill offers them the opportunity to return to Armenia and avoid criminal charges by utilizing the options outlined in the project.

Citizens aged 27 to 37, who evaded military service, can now choose between serving an extended period in the army or paying 15 million drams (approximately $37,000) to be released from service. Gegham Manukyan, a member of the opposition "Armenia" faction, expressed his concerns to The Armenian Report about the bill, particularly regarding the financial burden on citizens returning from the diaspora. The opposition is not against releasing citizens from criminal prosecution but raises questions about the equitable implementation of these provisions.

The bill aims to address a complex issue surrounding the completion of military service by diaspora Armenians, offering them alternative paths to fulfill their obligations to the homeland. As the new legislation takes effect, it will be closely observed to determine its impact and address any potential challenges raised by opposition members and concerned citizens.


Ad for subscribing to The Armenian Report
bottom of page