from serving in the military, the official news agency Tass reported.
In Latvia and the two other Baltic republics - Estonia and Lithuania - there have been widespread protests against service in the Soviet army, partly for nationalist reasons and partly because of allegations that Baltic conscripts have been abused by other soldiers.
The Baltic republics have adopted constitutional amendments in the last 16 months giving their legislatures the right to overturn Soviet laws. The Kremlin has denounced those actions as violating the constitution, but so far there has been no direct confrontation, as will occur with the start of the spring draft.
In another development, officials of Estonia and Lithuania met on Monday to coordinate their efforts for independence from Moscow.
Estonian legislator Endel Lippmaa said Estonia and Lithuania would try to open joint negotiations with the Kremlin on returning their pre-1940 independence. He said they hoped Latvia would join the talks.
Even if independence were immediately recognized by Moscow, there would still be economic relationships and the withdrawal of Soviet troops to negotiate, Lippmaa said.
"First we must convince our partners on the Russian side that it is actually in their best interests to do it," he said by telephone from Tallinn, the Estonian capital.
Baltic nationalists say their independent republics were incorporated into the Soviet Union in spite of public opposition in 1940, after Red Army troops were stationed in the three states.
Lippmaa said Estonia wanted to get the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies to reconsider the 1940 resolution annexing the republic.
The Lithuanians and Estonians met Monday in the chambers of the Estonian legislature in Tallinn, Lippmaa said.
Lithuanians also are moving up runoff elections for their new legislature so it can vote for independence before March 12, when President Mikhail S. Gorbachev is expected to get what one activist called "dictatorial" powers.