Universal conscription of Lithuanian young men would cost around EUR 400 mln – defence minister (Updated)
Universal conscription of young men to Lithuania's Armed Forces would require about 400 million euros, while conscription of young women would require nearly four times as much, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
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In a report delivered to the parliamentary National Security and Defence Committee about the possibility of introducing general conscription, the ministry said that recruitment of young men and women who had just graduated high school would cost around 1.5 billion euros.
According to the calculations, general military service of young men would include around 6,300 young men annually, while conscription of young men and women would raise the number to approximately 12,300.
The earliest date of universal conscription of young men could be 2024, if it is granted 105 million euros every year. Young men and women could be recruited from 2026, given that the preparations are earmarked 280 million euros every year.
According to the ministry, the money is needed for construction of the army's new battalions, supplies for conscripts and training of additional instructors who would train them.
Universal conscription of young men would require four additional battalions, while conscription of young women would need 14 battalions, as compared to 10 battalions existing in Lithuania's Armed Forces.
With universal conscription in place, maintenance of the scheme would require about 80 million euros annually, if only young men are conscripted, or 220 million euros, if the register of individuals up for conscription includes both men and women.
Partial conscription was reintroduced in Lithuania in 2015 in response to Russia's actions in Ukraine. The plan for this year is to draft 3,800 conscripts, which is a rise by 300 young people from 2017.
This year, Lithuania is for the first time earmarking just over 2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) for defence, which totals at 873 million euros.