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Romania drops compulsory military service

BUCHAREST, Romania, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Romania abolished compulsory military service as of Monday and decided members of its armed forces will be only professionals.

Romanian Defense Minister Corneliu Doritoiu said in Bucharest the professional army will be trained and prepared to take part in peacekeeping operations, HotNews.ro reported.

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Previously men under the age of 35 were obliged to serve between 6 to 18 months in the military.

Romania became a NATO full member in 2004 and is scheduled to join the European Union Jan. 1.

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