Study: Lithuania needs time, hundreds of millions of euros for universal conscription

Universal military conscription for young people just out of high school could be introduced in Lithuania in 2027 or 2029 and would cost the state hundreds of millions of euros, according to a feasibility study carried out by the Defense Ministry.

The document said that preparations for universal conscription would depend on who would be drafted into military service. If the parliament had adopted the necessary legislation in 2021 and if only young men are to be drafted for military service, universal conscription could be introduced in 2027. If young women are to be called up, too, this could be done in 2029. The first scenario would require the creation of four new battalions, with the initial investment estimated at least at 415 million euros. The second scenario would require 14 new battalions and around 1.5 billion euros in investment. Lithuania reintroduced partial conscription in 2015 in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Currently, just over 3,800 men aged 18-23 years and men under 26 years who have deferred their military service because of university studies are drafted into the army each year.

Lithuanian opposition see no need of such decision due to current NATO-membership. Discussion raised over the real need of military conscription: it could be a step in advance to improve Lithuanian defense capabilities or it’s a one more evidence that NATO-membership is a useless feature.

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