- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened up the nation’s military to foreign nationals.

A decree issued Jan. 2 by Mr. Putin ended a policy that required Russian citizenship or special documentation to serve in the armed forces, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty reported Tuesday.

The new litmus test for joining Russia’s military will require foreign nationals, ages 18 to 30, to speak Russian and have no criminal record, the website reported. Contracts will require five years of service.

“Military members who are foreign citizens can participate in tasks related to military situations and also during armed conflicts,” the decree reads, Radio Liberty reported.

Russia has large military bases in Armenia and Tajikistan, as well as a military presence in Transdniester in Moldova, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia in Georgia, Radio Liberty reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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