The Lithuanian government on Wednesday backed a bill drafted by the Ministry of National Defence on the restoration of conscription. It will now go to parliament for further consideration.
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

The bill sets the number of soldiers performing the mandatory initial military service between 3,000 and 3,500, also raising the total number of troops.

In Defence Minister Juozas Olekas' words, the conscription of 19-26-year-olds should start in August or September.

"I believe that the age of 19 to 26 is highly suitable and should be used, the number of young people is enough to generate the 3,000, and all other things are subject to discussions," the minister told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Wednesday morning.

Under the current version of the Law on Military Conscription, persons between 19 and 26 may be conscripted to the mandatory initial military service, while graduates of universities may be invited to serve until the age of 38.

Last month, the State Defence Council suggested reintroducing the conscription system for five years.

State and army leaders believe that conscripts are needed to fill military units and train a reserve.

Lithuania ended conscription in 2008 and it may be reintroduced in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.

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