This content is not available in your region

Sweden reintroduces military service

Access to the comments Comments
By Catherine Hardy  with AP
Sweden reintroduces military service

<p>The Swedish government is reintroducing compulsory military service for both men and women. Officials say it is because of what Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist calls a deteriorating security environment in Europe and around Sweden.</p> <p>Under the plan approved on Thursday, at least 4,000 18-year-olds could be called up each year, starting 1 January.</p> <p>The policy only applies to residents born after 1999.</p> <p>It will still be possible to volunteer for military service in Sweden.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>When did Sweden abolish compulsory military service?</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>In 2010.</p> <p>At that point, only men were eligible.</p> <p>The feeling was that there were enough volunteers to meet the region’s military needs.</p> <h3><strong>Military build-up</strong></h3> <p>In September, non-<span class="caps">NATO</span> member Sweden stationed permanent troops on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland.</p> <p>Hultqvist described this as “sending a signal” after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its “increasing pressure” on the neighbouring Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.</p>