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The Lithuanian Defense Ministry proposes to lower the upper age limit for draftees for mandatory initial military service to 23 years.
The conscripts
The conscripts
© Mindaugas Milinis

Updates throughout.

Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis and Chief of Defense of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas unveiled the proposal at a news conference on Friday.

The ministry also proposes to reduce the lower age limit to 18 for high school graduates.

Currently, men aged between 19 and 26 can be called up for mandatory military service. Men and women aged between 18 and 38 can volunteer to do military service.

"Our proposal is to set the lower age limit at 18, provided that they have graduated from high school, and the upper limit at 23 years," Karoblis said.

He said the proposed changes are aimed at ensuring "that civil life is as little disrupted as possible, for example, for those who have families, jobs or businesses. More (young men) are going abroad, too," he said.

Men aged between 23 and 26 years currently account for up to a fifth of all conscripts doing their military service.

The ministry estimates that the proposed changes will reduce the list of potential draftees from around 90,000 to 60,000 people. That means that every second man who is within the draft age and is not a higher school student would be on the final list of about 25,000 to 30,000 draftees.

The proposed draft amendments to the Law on Compulsory Military Service also call for certain changes to the military reserve structure.

If approved by the Seimas, the amendments will come into force next January.

BNS
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