August 24, 2015, saw Lithuania welcome first conscripts to its armed forces.
The 495 men aged between 20-to-30 were the first wave of conscripts to the Lithuanian army, since the government re-introduced conscription in March 2015.
In March 2015, conscription was re-introduced by the Lithuanian government amidst fears of increased Russian military aggression, following the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea and involvement in the conflict in East Ukraine.
The conscripts started their service in the Lithuanian Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalion, based in the western seaport town of Klaipėda.
Linkevicius - tougher sanctions needed
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has called for tougher EU and NATO sanctions on the Kremlin, following the outbreak of violence in Eastern Ukraine on August 11, 2015.
The violence saw pro-Kremlin rebels fire 153 shots at Ukrainian Army soldiers, and kill two, in Donetsk.
The attack was the most severe since the Minsk II ceasefire agreements were signed in February this year. One civilian was also killed.
Subsequently, Linkevičius believes the clashes should be viewed as a signal to consider further sanctions on Moscow.
“All sanctions must be extended,” he said. “And if the situation changes for the worse, they should be tightened.”