VILNIUS, Lithuania – Lithuania has decided to restore compulsory military service for young men as tensions in Ukraine continue to worry the small Baltic nation.
After a meeting of military leaders and top government officials, President Dalia Grybauskaite said Tuesday the measure was necessary because of "growing aggression" in Ukraine.
Military officials said Lithuania will reinstate national service for five years starting in September, when it will enlist some 3,000 men, ages 19 to 27. They will serve for nine months.
Gen. Jonas Vytautas, the defense chief, says a lack of soldiers posed a "real threat" to national security.
Lithuania, like its Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia, was occupied for five decades by the Soviet Union before regaining independence in 1991. It abolished conscription in 2008, four years after joining NATO.