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Latvia to Introduce Military Training for Students in Fear of Russia

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The country’s Ministry of Defense is considering introducing the first voluntary and soon to be compulsory military training for young people.

Latvia is planning to launch a voluntary military training program for students as the country is worried about alleged military threat posed by neighboring Russia, Latvia’s Defense Minister Raimonds Vējonis said, cited by the Austrian newspaper “Die Presse”.

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The Minister stated that the innovation will be undertaken "to respond to the Ukrainian crisis, which Soviet Baltic republics perceive as a military threat from the neighboring Russia."

While Lithuania is already considering introducing mandatory military service, Latvia has preferred a combined model of a professional army and volunteers. The new program is expected to give basic military training to young people and will later become compulsory. 

The idea was supported by both universities and students, according to the Riga newspaper "Diena." However, a number of questions regarding the details of the training organization still remain open, Vējonis stated.

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