March 6, 2015

Lithuania to Vote on Conscription to Combat Russian Threat

The prospect of military conscription in Lithuania will spark a fierce debate in the country’s parliament when it is put to a vote next week, analysts say.

The prospect of military conscription in Lithuania will spark a fierce debate in the country’s parliament when it is put to a vote next week, analysts say.

Tomas Jermalavicius, a research fellow at the International Centre for Defence Studies in Tallinn, Estonia, believes the motion is likely to pass, but only after a serious debate.
“Lithuanian society is split on the issue,” he says. “A number clearly feel that Russia poses a great threat, and they are already making moves to sign up to voluntary paramilitary organisations and national defence volunteers. They certainly support the resumption of conscription.”
“But a lot of other people feel that state cannot coerce its citizens in this way,” he continues. “People want to pursue careers, to study and there has been a backlash from some sections of society, from sportsmen, celebrities and economists speaking out in public. There’s certainly as interesting debate in the public space right now.”
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