The number of Russian Armed Forces personnel will not be downsized to fewer than a million, Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov has said.

“When the personnel strength of the armed forces stands at one million, we will not reduce it any more,” Serdyukov added.

The Defence Ministry still relies on conscription due to the unresolved decade-long debate on the number of professional servicemen in Russia’s armed forces, according to RIA Novosti.

The ministry intends to begin regularly manning armed forces with contract servicemen by 2014.

Currently, the Russian Armed Forces recruits 180,000 contractors, but the number will increase to 425,000 by the end of 2017.