The State Duma will hold the first reading of a bill extending the upper age limit for military service on Friday, Vladimir Komoyedov, chairman of the State Duma committee on defense, said on Thursday.

"A bill extending the upper age limit for military service by five years is expected to be passed in the first reading the nearest future, to be more exact, tomorrow," Komoyedov told a briefing for military attaches accredited in Moscow.

The bill will help keep the most valuable and experienced personnel and ensure that the Armed Forces are properly staffed, he said.

Komoyedov also said the committee debated some forty bills in 2013. "Twelve of them became laws and have now taken effect," he said.

The expert council of the committee on defense has now raised the question about the codification of the military legislation.

"Specifically, we are talking about the adoption of a unified code of laws governing military security issues, a Military Code of the Russian Federation. It should be composed of the current federal constitutional laws," Komoyedov said.

Opinion: Russia wants more contract soldiers on the ground

Following reforms undertaken by former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, contract service in the Russian military has become competitive on the labor market. The Ministry of Defense is planning to spend $1.6 billion through 2015, to further promote military service under contract. However, conscription will not be abolished, as Russia wishes to maintain a mobilized reserve. Read more>>>

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