Lithuania will reintroduce permanent mandatory military conscription 21603162

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Defence & Security News - Lithuania
 
 
Lithuania will reintroduce permanent mandatory military conscription
In a unanimous decision, Lithuania's state defense council decided on Monday that mandatory military conscription should be reintroduced for good. The country's top defense authority headed by Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite decided the country should reintroduce mandatory military conscription permanently rather than for five years as was decided a year and a half ago.
     
Lithuania will reintroduce permanent mandatory military conscription 640 001Lithuania expects military conscription will help boost the country's active military reserve up to around 30,000 soldiers
(Credit: AP/Mindaugas Kulbis)
     
"The state defense council decided to conduct drafts to mandatory military service not temporarily but permanently, every calendar year," chief advisor to the Lithuanian president on national security, Valdemaras Sarapinas, told a press conference after the council meeting.

Lithuania expects military conscription will help boost the country's active military reserve up to around 30,000 soldiers.

Lithuanian defense minister Juozas Olekas, who earlier had opposed permanent conscription, voted in favor of the decision.

However, the council's decision may face opposition while being approved at the Seimas, the country's parliament.

"I am against (the decision) because I prefer Lithuania to be protected by professional soldiers," the leader of Lithuania's ruling Order and Justice party, Rolandas Paksas, told BNS news agency.

The reintroduction of permanent military conscription was among other decisions made by the state defense council on Monday to strengthen the country's defense capabilities. The council also decided to increase the number of conscripts drafted every year by around 500 people.

Olekas expects the mandatory military service will be based on volunteers.

The council has also decided to allocate an additional 150 million euros (166.48 million U.S. dollars) for defense spending next year. This year, Lithuania's defense budget amounts to around 575 million euros, or around 1.5 percent of GDP. The country has set itself a goal to increase defense spending up to 2.0 percent of GDP by 2018.

In recent years, the small Baltic country has increased its defense spending and reintroduced mandatory military service, citing security threats in Eastern Europe. Mandatory military conscription in Lithuania was abolished in 2008.

 

 

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