Lithuanian authorities renew compulsory military service in the army, from which was cancelled back in 2008. This was stated by President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to BBC.
It is reported that the statement was made after an emergency meeting of the State Defense Council with the participation of President, Prime Minister, Spokesperson of the Seimas, Minister of Defense and Commander of the Lithuanian Army. The reason for this decision was "the current geopolitical environment."
Lithuania abolished conscription in 2008, but the new rules would see it reinstated for men aged 19-26, with exemptions for certain categories, such as university students and single fathers.
Up to 3,500 men would be recruited each year.
Latvia's defence minister has also suggested strengthening his country's military, by increasing army numbers to 7,000 men. However, there are no plans to introduce compulsory service.
The head of the Lithuanian Army Major General Jonas Vytautas Jucás noted that the existing capacity of the army was insufficient, and the deficit of soldiers was "a threat to the national security."
"We know very well how events unfold in the east of Ukraine, and we also know that the NATO countries are concerned. The situation is not solved peacefully," Jucás said.
"Now there is no real threat from Russia – it does not bring its forces to our borders. But we do not know how the situation will develop. So far, the situation has developed for the worse," the general said.
Earlier it was reported that the Lithuanian authorities had started to prepare the population for a possible Russian invasion.
Recently in Lithuania there was released a manual entitled "How to act in extreme situations or instances of war". The hasty release of the book was prompted by "the threat of a Russian invasion."