Lithuanian men aged 19-26 could soon find themselves carrying out military exercises as the country announces plans to bring back military conscription.
The draft ended in 2008, but the authorities said the measure was necessary due to Russia’s ‘growing aggression in Ukraine’.
Lithuania shares a border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, and has reported airspace violations in recent months.
“Today’s geopolitical environment requires us to strengthen the army, and do it as fast as possible. This needs to be done in the nearest few years. That is why the State Defence Council decided we must temporarily renew conscription for the next 5 years. Conscripts will be drafted every year for 9 months, about 3500 Lithuania’s citizens will be conscripted,” announced Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.
It comes after the defence ministry published a booklet advising citizens how to survive a war on its soil, following a Russian military drill in Kaliningrad in December that featured 9,000 troops and more than 55 naval vessels.