Armenia’s Military Service Law: New Amendments Provide Options and Amnesty

Jan 16 2024

By: Momen Zellmi

The National Assembly of Armenia has instituted a historic change in its ‘Law on Military Service and the Status of Servicemen.’ The newly passed legislation provides amnesty for Armenian men who have evaded mandatory military service and left the nation, allowing them to return without facing criminal charges after the age of 27. The caveat is that they have to fulfill a two-year military service obligation. In essence, this law aims to balance the scales between national duty and individual freedom.

The new amendments introduce a range of options for fulfilling service obligations. Men now have the choice to serve for 15 months coupled with a payment of 2.5 million drams, serve for 7.5 months with a payment of 5 million drams, or serve for just a month with a payment of 10 million drams. A provision to entirely avoid military service by paying a flat fee of 15 million drams also exists. This flexible approach offers a greater range of choices to the citizens, reducing the potential for forced evasion.

The law further stipulates that individuals aged 37 and over, who have not completed their fixed-term service, will have their criminal prosecutions terminated. The same relief extends to those aged 45 and over in the case of reserve officer service. This provision seeks to alleviate the burden on older citizens who have been unable to fulfill their service obligations.

The law also takes into consideration Armenian males who have acquired citizenship of another country and have served 12 or more months in the military of their country of residence after turning 27. Such individuals, or those willing to pay 2.5 million drams, will be exempt from the Armenian military service. This approach respects the rights of dual citizens, acknowledging their military service in their country of residence.