MOSCOW, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian military is drafting a security plan for Crimea through 2020 in an effort to ensure the work of Russian servicemen in the former Ukrainian region, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday.
The Defense Ministry is due to consider the plan on Friday, Shoigu told a meeting of senior commanders after discussing issues related to the deployment and development of forces in Crimea.
Russia, which has mandatory conscription for men for one-year terms, has said Crimean residents will be drafted into the army beginning next year, but their service will be limited to the territory of the Black Sea peninsula until 2016.
The Defense Ministry said earlier this month that less than 15 percent of the 18,000 Ukrainian troops stationed in Crimea decided to leave the peninsula after it rejoined Russia last week. President Vladimir Putin ordered Shoigu on Friday to hand over to Ukraine military equipment of units stationed on the peninsula that had elected to depart.
Crimea, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev which seized power as a result of a coup, instead rejoining Russia following a referendum on the issue earlier this month.