Lithuania planning to restore conscription

Lithuanian soldiers (Sipa/Scanpix)
2/25/2015 4:55 PM
Category: International

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said the nation is reestablishing compulsory military service due to Russia's assertiveness in the region.

“Today's geopolitical environment requires us to strengthen the army, and do it as fast as possible,” Grybauskaite said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

The plan first needs parliament approval, and if passed, could see around 3,500 men each year called up for service. The initial plan is to restore military service for five years, then reevaluate the situation. Lithuania discontinued conscription only in 2008.

Latvia switched to a completely professional military in 2006, but has recently said it will boost military personnel numbers from 2,000 to 7,000. Latvia said it currently has no plans to reinstate conscription.

Estonia is the only Baltic nation not to end conscription, calling up around 2,500 men each year for a service that lasts 8-11 months.

Information war

In a related news in terms of Russian intimidation, STT, the Lithuanian internal security service, said Russia has stepped up attempts to spread its propaganda through Lithuanian mass media, electronic media and social media.

STT said on its website that Russia is trying to invest or support financially Lithuanian media outlets through third parties in hopes of influencing what is published, or having its own materials published.

J.M. Laats

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