Saeima adopts State Defence Service Law
Saeima adopted the State Defence Service Law in the third reading on 5 April. After the final reading, the new law will regulate the roll out of state defence service across Latvia.
‘Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine has completely changed the geopolitical and security landscape. Comprehensive national defence requires Latvia to develop all capabilities – from weapon systems to necessary rate of population with military training. State defence service is our response to new regional security challenges. Ukraine is a clear example of the importance of morally resilient and well-prepared civilian population in pushing back any aggressor. Members of the parliament have shown deep understanding and facilitated speedy adoption of the law that will enable first volunteers to join national defence forces already this year,’ Ināra Mūrniece, Defence Minister of Latvia, underlined.
According to State Defence 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.
The first draft will be announced on 1 July, primarily targeting volunteers. Military service will become compulsory on 1 January 2024. The second draft, however, will also be voluntary for Latvian nationals as long as necessary number of recruits is achieved. If not, force will be completed with
Latvian nationals aged 18-19 who will be officially notified of mandatory enlistment in national defence forces via electronic mail, letter to registered address or in person.
In the first round, volunteers willing to enlist in national defence forces will be able to apply until 15 May. For additional details, citizens are invited to call +371 6707 2793, or use e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. National Armed Force Recruitment and Selection Centre at 9 Krustabaznīcas Street in Riga is also open to all potential recruits.
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Before entering into force, the State Defence Service Law must be signed by President of Latvia. Law comes to force as of next day of its publishing in the official journal Latvijas Vēstnesis.
Head of the Media Relations Section
Military Public Affairs Department