Soviet authorities have expressed concern over lack of discipline in the armed forces and the number of people trying to avoid military service, the Communist Party newspaper Pravda reported on Friday.

Pravda said the issue was raised at a regular meeting of the party's ruling Politburo on Thursday, which had examined a Central Committee resolution on strengthening discipline in the Soviet army and navy."It was stressed that the main task set by the party Central Committee on strengthening discipline in the army and the fleet is being fulfilled slowly. Serious concern is aroused by incidents of avoidance of military service," Pravda said.

It called for the elimination of certain "negative phenomena" in the armed forces, which it said gave a poor impression of their efficiency and combat-readiness.

"Local party and government bodies and social organizations are recommended to pay more attention to preparing young people of call-up and pre-call-up age for active military service," Pravda said.

From the age of 18 Soviet men are eligible to serve two years in the army or three years in the navy as compulsory military service unless exempted for medical reasons.

Pravda said the Politburo had also discussed preparations for a Central Committee meeting on the nationalities question. It gave no date for the meeting, which was expected to center on recent unrest in Armenian and Azerbaijan.