Latvia resumes conscription to deter Russia

Latvia resumes conscription to deter Russia

Latvia has reintroduced mandatory conscription to deter Russia from invading Europe.

This was stated by Latvian Foreign Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview with The Telegraph, Ukrinform reported.

“We need to be in such a state of preparedness that Russian generals and the Russian political classes clearly see that the direction of Europe is a no-go,” he said.

“Imagine a positive outcome of the Ukrainian war – all Ukrainian territory is liberated and the war ends,” Mr Kariņš said. “But, on that day, Russia still remains a threat.”

The foreign minister said Russia needs to understand that “European defences are completely up to snuff, and that it’s not possible to have any gains without tremendous loss, and to make sure, actually, that no gains would be feasible”.

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According to him, Russia should run into a brick wall, and that brick should be NATO's resolve and proven capabilities.

All male citizens aged 18 to 27 will be required to complete a year of service, including those living abroad. Those who refuse to serve could be fined or imprisoned though some exemptions will apply, including for those with health conditions, single parents and dual citizens who have already served abroad.

Latvia’s plan is to have a combat-ready force of 61,000 troops, split between active troops and reserve units.

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Latvia had abolished mandatory service in 2006, two years after joining Nato, only to reverse course on that decision last year.

As reported, the heads of the military departments of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia signed an agreement to create a Baltic defense line to strengthen NATO's eastern border.

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