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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Longer Army Reform

Lieutenant-General Vasily Smirnov, deputy chief of General Staff, said Thursday it would take the military until 2020 to phase out conscription and form a professional army -- a decade longer than the government had planned.

Smirnov said preparations for the gradual transfer to a contract military will be completed by 2004. The "executive stage" of the reform will take until 2011 and the "completing stage" until 2020, he said. He did not elaborate and said details will be spelled out in 2003.