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Defence minister explanations

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, July 5
“My words that I made a unilateral decision really sounded harsh. I would like to explain that I only said it because of the heat," Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli said when commenting on her decision to abolish mandatory military conscription in her interview with Kviris Palitra.

According to her, it is necessary to dismantle the current system and move to a reserve system.

“The civilized world agrees on basic issues, including the fact that slavery is prohibited. The state of those who are in a compulsory military service in some ways is similar to slavery."

“When you carry out repairs on a house, you hire workers and pay them wages. Soldiers do this free of any charge at the Ministry of Defence. This is totally incompatible with my morality and today's world. That is why I am categorically against this type of recruiting. For the last four months we have been working on the concept of reserve forces,” she said.

Khidasheli's declaration two weeks ago caused a stir in the Government and the President’s administration, as they said Khidasheli had not agreed the decision with them.

In response, Khidasheli said the decision had been agreed much earlier, and both the President’s and the Government’s relevant decrees had been signed which supported the abolishment of compulsory military service.

It should be said the Ministry of Defence recruits only 25% of the male conscripts, as the rest are called up by the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Corrections.

Herewith, without the Government’s support, Khidasheli’s decision will never come into effect.

It is true that since her appointment as Minister of Defence last year, Khidasheli has spoken about the necessity of the abolition of conscription and her actions and words should not have been a surprise.

It may be true, however, that the Government and the President did not know when the Minister planned to announce about it.

It would naturally be better if all state institutions were able to adopt state-important issues jointly, as stirring controversy over such issues creates the impression that there is no unity in the Government and between key state institutions.