EU nation urges UK to introduce conscription — RT World News

Latvia's foreign minister said the UK should reinstate compulsory military service to deter Russia

Britain and other NATO allies should consider conscripting citizens into the army to counter the perceived threat from Russia, Latvia's foreign minister told The Telegraph in an interview published on Saturday.

Latvia reintroduced compulsory military service earlier this year, in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, while Riga is striving to increase the size of its army. “Active and ready reserve.” The updated rules require all male Latvian citizens between the ages of 18 and 27 to complete one year of service, including those living abroad.

When asked whether the UK and other countries should follow suit, Krisjanis Karens said: “We would strongly recommend this. We are developing and embodying a system of what we call comprehensive defense that includes all parts of civil society.”

The Latvian diplomat also urged London to raise its defense spending to 3% of GDP, describing the move as… “inevitable.”

NATO countries should consider a “Total defense” A model through which large numbers of citizen soldiers can be called in in a short time, according to the minister.

Latvia has borrowed elements from the Finnish conscription system “He could be a good role model for many of us.” Karens said, adding that Finland has a small regular army, “But she is very big and well trained.” Wartime reserve “So they can easily summon 250,000 trained soldiers.”.

In January, the British Chief of the General Staff, Patrick Sanders, called for this “Training and equipping” Civilians for possible recall in the event of a direct conflict with Russia. However, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak insisted that there were no plans to introduce conscription.

The British Army, Navy and Air Force had 184,865 personnel on active service as of late 2023, the lowest number since the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The army saw its number shrink from more than 100,000 in 2010 to 75,983 at the end of last year.

Latvia has been on the front line of the West's confrontation with Moscow, along with Estonia and Lithuania, since the launch of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The former Soviet republic, which shares a 284-kilometre border with Russia, joined the European Union and NATO in 2004, and abolished conscription in 2006. The Latvian armed forces have participated in US-led foreign missions, including Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

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