Armed Forces

Lithuania Reintroduces The Compulsory Military Service – Consent Of The Parliament

The Parliament of Lithuania decided to adopt regulations that would reintroduce the compulsory military service into the Lithuanian legislation. These changes are a result of the danger posed by Russia.

It is being predicted that the Lithuanians are going to train 3 to 3.5 thousand conscripts per year, throughout the period of at least five years. This training would be the basis for making the human resources structure of the armed forces coherent. Second aim of the process is to create capabilities within the scope of complementing the reserve forces. The first conscript will be called for duty in the second half of 2015.

Lithuanian Ministry of Defence stresses the fact that volunteers will be a priority in the training programme. Should the number of the volunteers be too small, conscripts will be randomly picked from the lists related to the given year. The service is to last for 9 months.

General defence obligation is to include mainly persons aged 19 to 26, who have never been involved in military training earlier on. The bill was supported by 112 members of the Lithuanian parliament, 3 MP’s were against it, 5 of them abstained from voting.

In the light of the Ukrainian crisis Lithuania also decided to increase the defence spending, from the level of 0.8%, which was the case back in 2013. The Army of Lithuania additionally is to acquire the Polish Grom MANPADS, as well as the US-made Javelin ATGW’s. Moreover, quick reaction force has been formed within the structure of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Elements of this newly created formation are to be ready for operations 2 hours after the deployment order is issued. However, as it was noted by General Major Jonas Vytautas Žukas, commander in chief of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, the modernization process proceeds slower than it would be desired.