Lithuania reinstates general military conscription

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė has signed the law on the introduction of universal military service in the country on an ongoing basis.

According to the Lithuanian news portal Delfi, the law, previously approved by the Council of State Defense, provides for the transition of the Lithuanian army from fully professional to a mixed-type system. At the moment, more than ten thousand people are serving in the Armed Forces of Lithuania.

Previously, the introduction of universal conscription in the country was seen as a temporary measure. Under the new law, the army will consist of professional soldiers and drafted ones. Lithuania abandoned universal conscription in 2008, but in 2015 restored it for 5 more years due to the difficult geopolitical situation.

The Lithuanian president's press service says that 3,500 to 4,000 people will be drafted yearly. Currently, more than 3,800 Lithuanian volunteers have already expressed their desire to join the ranks of the Armed Forces. According to preliminary calculations, the transition of the army to the mixed type system could cost the budget of Lithuania 30-35 million euros.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that the defense of Lithuania plays an important role, given its proximity to Russia. In connection with a spike in the activities of Russian aviation in the Baltic region, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia agreed to strengthen military cooperation and increase funding for the NATO air policing mission three times.

Since the beginning of the war in the East of Ukraine, Lithuania has been trying to strengthen its defense, fearing Russian aggression. Recently, it became known that Lithuania will buy American Javelin missiles. The Javelin has been used by the US Army and many other countries since the mid-1990s. This is a "fire-and-forget" type of weapon with a warhead designed to hit enemy armored military vehicles at their weakest points.

  Lithuania, NATO, Russia