Public support for introduction of state defence service in Latvia has grown

04/24/2023 - 13:25
In Latvia
Defence policy
Information prepared by
Media Relations Section

Ministry of Defence commissioned SKDS Research Centre to conduct opinion poll in December 2022. The results of polling show that the number of Latvian residents who support introduction of state defence service has increased.

55% of respondents agreed that Latvia should introduce state defence service, while 60% of Latvian residents claimed that introduction of state defence service is crucial for improved defence capabilities of Latvia. 

‘Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine has changed the geopolitical environment. It has also changed people’s attitude towards personal responsibility for national security. I am happy to see more people getting interested in how they can support national defence. It translates into greater overall support for state defence service and growing demand among young people to be more involved in national defence,’ Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece stressed. Support for re-introduction of compulsory military service has grown by 10pp in the last 12 months. In 2021 support reached 39%, whereas in 2022 it had already grown to 49% of Latvians. 

Number of young people aged 17-24 who supported conscription service in 2022 reached 62% or 7% less than in 2021 when support to compulsory draft among young people was 55%.

Survey also shows that young Latvians are more inclined to defend their homeland – in 2020 the number of Latvian youngsters who agreed that in case of military attack every resident of Latvia should defend the country reached 51%, whereas in 2022 this number had already increased to 62%.

As reported earlier, Saeima (Parliament of Latvia) adopted the State Defence Law in the final, third reading on 5 April. According to the Law, all Latvian nationals – men aged 18 and full-aged men who have not completed their primary or secondary education – shall be drafted within 12 months of reaching the age of 18 or graduation in the case of those still in education system until the age of 24. Law also allows female Latvian nationals aged 18-27 to voluntarily choose state defence service. 

First wave of volunteer recruits will start their state defence service duty on 1 July. Service will become compulsory on 1 January 2024. Second round of enlistment will also initially be open to volunteers, but in case of need additional recruits will be picked from 18–19-year-old age group. They will be notified via e-mail or letter to their registered addressed, or in a registered letter.

The first round of voluntary state defence service enlistment is open until 15 May. Recruits must send their applications through integrated electronic recruitment platform Additional help is available via phone: +371 67072793 or e-mail:

Contact information:
Roberts Skraučs
Head of the Media Relations Section
Military Public Affairs Department
Tel.: 67335393