Unwilling conscripts in ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan need worry no longer -- parliament has voted to let them buy their way out of military service for $550.
The move was prompted by the fact that thousands already bribe their way out of service in the mountainous Central Asian state, and parliament simply decided to formalize the arrangement.
"Of course, everyone must do their service, but today many buy their way out of it, and the only ones serving are those with neither influence nor money," parliamentary deputy Alevtina Pronenko told Reuters. "Let this money go toward weapons."
The fee is not cheap in a country where the average wage is $30 per month. The bill will still have to be signed by President Askar Akayev, who has the right of veto.
Reuters, December 4, 2002