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Lithuania: Military Conscription Reinstated

(Dec. 16, 2016)  On September 1, 2016, the Law on Compulsory Military Duty, which was signed by the President of Lithuania in June, entered into force, and it will be valid for the next five years.  The Law will require legislative reauthorization every five years in order to remain in effect.  (Press Release, Office of the Lithuanian President, Compulsory Military Conscription Will Be Permanent (June 21, 2016) (in Lithuanian).)  The Law was introduced in the Lithuanian legislature in early 2015, reportedly in response to growing Russian military threats.  (Lithuania to Reintroduce Conscription over Security Concerns, BBC.COM (Feb. 24, 2015).)

Military conscription existed in Lithuania before 2008.  All men aged 18 through 26, except for university students and single fathers, were summoned to perform military duty for one year.  (Id.)

It is expected that 3,500 persons will be summoned annually to perform military duty under new law.  As stated in the press release issued by the Office of the President, “the mixed military system, which combines conscripts and professionals, creates closer ties between the society and the armed forces and increases defense preparedness.”  (Compulsory Military Conscription Will Be Permanent, supra.)