A deputy of the State Duma and member of the group People’s Deputy, Valentina Pivnenko commented on the coordinated variant of the bill on alternative civil service.
The document was approved during the session of the workgroup that took place February 9 presided over by vice-premier Ilya Klebanov.
Valentina Pivnenko believes that the law “On Alternative Civil Service” can change the lives of hundreds of young men who do not wish to serve in the army due to their views or religious grounds. Pivnenko said that the variant of the bill, which was coordinated by the workgroup, was the most acceptable version of all the proposed bills about civil service. Pivnenko stated that she had read the approved variant of the bill and found its contents rather curious.
She said that the document basically stipulates the territorial principle of the civil service. The draftees will be able to serve in the town of their living, with the exception for those occasions when there are no places for civil service on the territory where they live. Furthermore, they will be able to obtain an education. Valentina Pivnenko said that there were two moot questions, around which there would be a lot of debate in the parliament. First of all, there is the issue of the terms of the civil service: 36 or 48 months. Second, there is the principle of a draftee having the right for to alternative civil service: either to prove his views on religious grounds or simply submit an application to the military registration office expressing unwillingness to serve in the army.
The majority of the State Duma deputies are not ready to answer those vital questions. Pivnenko thinks that the text of the document could be submitted to the Duma as early as this month. As the deputy believes, the bill will have face hard lobby pressure during the discussion in the lower house of the parliament. Pivnenko added that the deputies are supposed to be very careful, trying not to hurt any of the parties, since it is the only way that the bill can be good for the defense ability of the country.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov