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Lithuania plans to draft high school graduates into military service

Lithuania plans to draft high school graduates into military service Illustrative photo (Getty Images)

The Lithuanian parliament has supported a package of laws to reform military service in the country. Now young people will have to serve in the military immediately after graduation, according to Delfi.

The new reform also states that young people will have to undergo a medical examination at the age of 17. The bill was supported by 85 votes in favor, 3 against, and 14 abstentions.

Earlier, the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense prepared a proposal that provided alternative options for university students. However, this idea was strongly opposed by the educational community and some youth organizations in Lithuania.

The new draft law abandoned the idea of including current students in the draft lists, turning to draft young people immediately after graduation. They will receive a notice of conscription at the age of 17 after they pass a medical examination.

Once drafted, young people will not be able to enter higher education institutions until they complete their military service.

Young men will undergo a medical examination as early as 2025. From 2026, after the draft reform comes into force, they will be included in the draft lists. Those who will not be drafted into the army due to health problems will be able to enter higher education institutions.

"We have learned the lesson that the principle of universal defense must begin with the expansion of our armed forces and the transition to compulsary military service. The lessons of Ukraine clearly show us that the whole country must fight against a much larger enemy, otherwise, it is impossible to resist. I am glad that a truly balanced reform has been submitted to the Seimas,” said Conservative MP Paulius Saudargas.

The UK is also considering options for returning to compulsory military service for young people.