Restoring conscription is “necessity”, Lithuanian president says

Dalia Grybauskaitė
DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Asked to comment on the prime minister’s recent statements that part of military training could last less than nine months, the president said the timeframe was agreed during the meeting of the State Defence Council which was also attended by the prime minister.

“I would like to remind you that it was a unanimous decision of the State Defence Council and it was based on the chief of defence’s presentation, including the timeframe and everything else, and the prime minister also signed it. It’s a necessity. In the short-term, Lithuania has no other way to strengthen and form its army, and in the existing geopolitical situation, such considerations and evasions raise the issue of constitutional responsibility. As state leaders and lawmakers have the constitutional duty to ensure the security and defense of the state,” Grybauskaitė told journalists on Thursday.

Lithuania wants to restore conscription in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the country’s growing military activity in the region. The army says the move would allow filling army units and preparing an army reserve.

If approved by the Seimas, around 3,000 young men, aged 19-26, would be conscripted every year.

Lithuania ended conscription in 2008.

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