The target for the recruitment of contract servicemen has been exceeded by 50 percent in 2013, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov told reporters on Friday.

"Some 76,000 contract servicemen have been recruited in 2013. Sixty-seven percent of them have vocational training, and practically 99 percent belong to the first and second categories of professional suitability," he said at a press conference at the Interfax central office.

The Defense Ministry's annual target of the recruitment of contract servicemen is 50,000, he added.

Human resources departments have been entitled to recruit contract servicemen, Pankov said. "The decision that an officer, a general and a contract serviceman are birds of a feather is technically correct. All of them are servicemen operating under a contract," the general stressed.

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