Thursday 26 April 2018

Lithuania restores military service

National service has been reintroduced in Lithuania amid escalating tensions in Ukraine
National service has been reintroduced in Lithuania amid escalating tensions in Ukraine

Lithuania has decided to restore compulsory military service for young men as tensions in Ukraine continue to worry the small Baltic nation.

After a meeting of military leaders and top government officials, president Dalia Grybauskaite said the measure was necessary because of "growing aggression" in Ukraine.

Military officials said Lithuania will reinstate national service for five years starting in September, when it will enlist some 3,000 men, aged between 19 and 27. They will serve for nine months.

General Jonas Vytautas, the defence chief, says a lack of soldiers posed a "real threat" to national security.

Lithuania, like its Baltic neighbours Latvia and Estonia, was occupied for five decades by the Soviet Union before regaining independence in 1991. It abolished conscription in 2008, four years after joining Nato.

Press Association

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