In Latvia, they want to return compulsory military service

Oleksiy Yarmolenko

Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks has announced plans to restore general military service in the country. According to him, the current system has exhausted itself.

LETA writes about it.

Similar rumors about such plans of the Ministry of Defense circulated even before the start of the war in Ukraine, but after the attack of the Russians in Latvia, this process was accelerated.

According to Pabriks, military service will be phased back over 5 years. The first draft is planned to be held on January 1, 2023 — and it will be completely voluntary. During it, they want to call a thousand people into the army.

In general, the draft will be held twice a year — on January 1 and July 1. Conscripts will have a choice of four service options: general military service; service in the National Guard 20 days a year for five years; unit commanderʼs course at the university; alternative military service.

The conscription age will be from 18 to 27 years, and women will be able to serve exclusively voluntarily. The state will provide a compensation of €400, as well as cover all expenses for food, accommodation and sports. The service will last 11 months, and the soldiers will have a month off and will be able to go home on weekends.

Compulsory military service was introduced in Latvia in 1991 after the collapse of the USSR. The first draft was in April 1992. This system existed until 2007, when they decided to abandon conscripts and create a fully contract army. Before that, in 2004, Latvia became a member of NATO, which could prompt the cancellation of the draft.