RIGA - The idea of creating a national defense service is supportable, but the compulsory involvement of women can still be discussed, Latvian President and Commander in Chief Egils Levits told TV3 this morning.
He supports the plan for the creation of the national defense service.
"We have really, really good, high-level armed forces, professional armed forces, you could say one of the best in NATO," the president said.
However, there are not enough reservists in Latvia who have military training, Levits justified the need for the creation of the new service.
"The professional armed forces are what they are, and there is a limited number of soldiers. The new geopolitical situation also requires a larger number of people who can participate in the defense of their country if necessary, who are not professional soldiers and are reservists," the president emphasized.
According to Levits, reservists can best be trained in this type of general defense service.
He explained that there are different forms of service, including alternative services, the Home Guard.
Discussions would also be necessary on how to involve citizens living outside the country in the service.
As reported, the Defense Ministry proposes introducing the compulsory national defense service in five years. Starting from January 1, 2023, the transition period will be started with recruits invited to apply for voluntary defense service.
During the firs year, some 1,000 people might be recruited.
Recruiting will take place twice a year - on January 1 and July 1. Also, recruits will be able to choose among four kinds of service.
The service will last for 11 months. Recruitment age will be 18-27 years. Women may join the service voluntarily.
Recruits will be paid EUR 400 a month.