Due to the growing tensions in relations with Russia and its aggression against Ukraine, the Latvian Defense Minister, Artis Pabriks, announced on Tuesday that compulsory military service would be restored in that country. There is “no reason to believe that Russia will change its course”, he said. He also announced a project to build a new military base.
Latvia gave up compulsory service after joining NATO
Latvia gave up compulsory military service after joining FOR THIS. Since 2007, the army of this Baltic country consists of professional soldiers and volunteers of the National Guard who periodically serve in the infantry.
Currently, the Latvian Armed Forces have only around 7,500 soldiers on active service and members of the National Guard supported by around 1,500 NATO troops.
According to Pabrix, male-only military service will be reinstated in 2023. Pabriks also announced a project to build a military base near the city of Jekabpils. It will be – as he emphasized – closer to the border with Russia than the current Adazi base.
The AFP agency quoted the opinion of Gatis Priede, a member of the National Guard, who welcomed Pabrix’s announcement. He added that, in his opinion, the decision to restore compulsory military service should be taken as early as 2014 after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
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