The bill received initial backing from 85 lawmakers on Tuesday, with only one abstention. It will now go to parliamentary committees for further consideration.
Under the bill, the limit numbers of mandatory initial military service servicemen for 2019-2024 will be the same as this year and range from 4190 to 4630. They will include 3800-4000 conscripts.
Introducing the bill, National Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said there were no plans to introduce mandatory service for young women.
“(…) but they are welcome to volunteer, and I would like to remind you that last year around 94 percent of conscription places were filled by volunteers, and only 6 percent were conscripts, and around 8 percent of volunteers were women. The number is not going down definitely, remains stable and is even growing slightly,” the minister said.
He also paid attention that despite a stable number of conscripts, their limit number is set to be raised by 500 troops next year when it will range from 19,490 to 22,450. The number is set to grow 5,500 over the next six years.
“As the general number of servicemen is set to rise, we also propose increasing the number of senior officers,” the minister said, having in mind majors and colonels.
According to Karoblis, the army also plans to set up a communication and IT battalion.