The number of personnel in the Russian Armed Forces will stand at one million servicemen and will not be downsized further, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Friday.
"When the personnel strength of the armed forces stands at one million, we will not reduce it anymore," Serdyukov said at a meting with Russian defense observers.
The decade-long debate on the number of professional servicemen in Russia's armed forces is still unresolved, and the Defense Ministry still largely relies on conscription. All Russian men between the ages of 18 and 27 are obliged by law to perform one year of military service.
Speaking about conscription issues, Serdyukov emphasized that the Defense Ministry aims to start regularly manning the armed forces with contract servicemen by 2014.
Currently the Russian Armed Forces enlist 180,000 contractors, but by the end of 2017, their number will increase to 425,000, the defense minister said.