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Estonia seeking to increase number of conscripts summoned each year

Conscrips in Paldiski. July 21, 2017.
Conscrips in Paldiski. July 21, 2017. Source: (Sander Ilvest/Postimees/Scanpix)

Approximately one third of young men per year pass conscript service in Estonia, and the Ministry of Defence is planning to increase the number of young adults in conscript service to 4,000, Ministry of Defence Jüri Luik said.

Responding to an interpellation in the Riigikogu, Luik said that while a general obligation for conscrip service is in effect in Estonia, only approximately one third of the young men of a particular year actually passes through conscript service in reality. According to the minister, such a situation is not sustainable.

"A general obligation must be general, otherwise the question arises why we have a national obligation at all if only some citizens are subjected to it," commented the minister.

According to Luik, the ministry will soon file a number of the legal act for the handling of the Riigikogu in order to increase the number of young adults to participate in conscription service. With it, the ministry plans to increase the number of young adults entering conscript service from the current 3,200 to 4,000. "We have also added a number of measures in this law package to make avoiding conscript service more difficult," he added.

Luik also noted that the Ministry of Defence intends to change the Estonian Defence Forces' (EDF) health requirements so that people with disabilities can also work for the EDF if interested in doing so.

He explained that there are a number of jobs in the EDF where very strong physical conditioning is not necessary. "It is especially important considering the circumstance that a very large number of our veterans, who actually have high military training, could find work in this situation — namely in the EDF."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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