The Baltic states are facing a real threat and must be prepared to independently withstand for at least three days in case of a military conflict until NATO allies arrive, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Wednesday.
“We had conscription before 2008, and we thought that it will never be necessary. But with a changing geopolitical situation around our borders, we realized that the threats are very real. The threats are real for our whole region, all Baltic states, and our neighbourhood has become less predictable and more aggressive, I mean Russia,” Grybauskaitė said.
The President also mentioned the recent increase in Russia’s military activity in the Kaliningrad region, in the Baltic Sea and in the air where Russian military planes pose threat to civil aviation.
“We know the procedures in NATO. The rapid reaction forces can start to work at least from 72 hours. But our nations in the Baltics are quite small. We need to protect ourselves at least for these 72 or more hours,” online newspaper DELFI quotes her as saying.
The President also called the reintroduction of conscription a clear message that, if attacked, Lithuania would not surrender and would defend itself. Grybauskaitė underlined that Lithuanians must defend their country.
“How can you or I, or we, Lithuanians, can ask, for example, a Danish or a German to come and defend us in case of a threat, and somehow we ourselves don’t want to do that? It’s our constitutional duty,” the President said.
As Belsat reported Tuesday, Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defence submitted amendments to the law on the Armed Forces, which included a plan to draft 3,000-3,500 men to compulsory military service.
www.belsat.eu/en/ , following DELFI