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In Latvia Today, 07:04, Levits announced the State Defense Service Law

On Tuesday, April 18, the State President Egils Levits announced in the official publication “Latvijas výstnesis” the Law on the State Defense Service (SDS) adopted by the Saeima, which provides that the first voluntary recruitment of young people into the service will take place already this summer.

State President Egils Levits
State President Egils Levits Photo: Ilmārs Znotiņš, Office of the President of the State

On Tuesday, April 18, the State President Egils Levits announced in the official publication “Latvijas výstnesis” the Law on the State Defense Service (SDS) adopted by the Saeima, which provides that the first voluntary recruitment of young people into the service will take place already this summer.

The law enters into force on the day following its promulgation.

The SAD law stipulates that citizens subject to SAD – men – within one year after reaching the age of 18. A citizen who, after reaching the age of 18, continues to receive education, except for higher education, will be subject to the national defense service within one year after graduating from an educational institution.

If a citizen continues to receive education after reaching the age of 18, except for higher education, and has not graduated from an educational institution before reaching the age of 24, he is subject to SAD within one year after reaching the age of 24.

Citizens – men and women – between the ages of 18 and 27 will be able to voluntarily apply for the service.

Military service will be 11 months in the National Armed Forces (NBS) regular forces or National Guard units or five years in total in the National Guard, performing service tasks for no less than 21 days of individual training and no more than seven days of collective training each year.

Also, the SAD will be able to be fulfilled by studying the reserve officer program intended for university and college students in a military educational institution and NBS unit, the total time of training and service assignments is not less than 180 days.

Persons subject to the SAD, who cannot perform military service due to their thoughts, conscience or religious beliefs, will be able to replace it with alternative service in accordance with the procedures specified in this law. Alternative service will have to be performed for 11 months in institutions under the Ministry of Defense.

A citizen who learns the profession of a doctor, physician’s assistant or nurse while studying in a medical program will be able to choose one of the types of military service, regardless of the priorities set by the NBS. Taking into account the students’ professional knowledge and skills, they will be able to be appointed to positions related to the relevant field.

The first recruitment is planned on a voluntary basis. Initially, it was expected that individuals have the right to apply for SAD by May 1 of this year, but this proposal was not supported. The Ministry of Defense informed that the voluntary application for the first draft of the National Defense Service takes place until May 15. Citizens can call 67 072 793, write to e-mail “[email protected]” or go to the NBS Recruitment and Selection Center at Krustabaznīcas Street 9, Riga.

The first enlistment will start the service on July 1 on a voluntary basis, but from January 1, 2024, the service is defined as mandatory. Also in the second conscription, Latvian citizens will initially be invited to join voluntarily. However, if necessary, the missing number of persons aged between 18 and 19 will be conscripted by sending a decision on conscription to the electronic address or the declared address of residence, or it will be delivered personally.

The SAD soldier and alternative service provider will have the right to receive compensation for the performance of official duties. SAD soldiers who have applied voluntarily have the right to receive compensation for the performance of their duties in an increased amount. The Cabinet of Ministers determines the compensation amount and payment procedure. Compensation is not subject to debt collection.

It is planned that a SAD soldier who volunteered for service will receive a monthly compensation of 600 euros.

Voluntary soldiers of the national defense service at the end of 11 months of service, regardless of the choice to continue their career in the National Security Service or to retire in the reserve, will receive additional compensation in the amount of 1100 euros.

For citizens who voluntarily completed and completed the SAD, on the condition that they comply with the university and study program admission rules, the state higher education institutions will finance higher education studies in the study areas determined by the Cabinet of Ministers.

The social guarantees of soldiers during their service have also been supplemented, providing that the children of SAD soldiers have the right to be placed in kindergartens out of turn.

The SAD Law provides for an administrative penalty for not appearing at the specified inspections at the time and place specified in the summons of the Ministry of Defense without a valid reason. The amount of sanctions will be a warning or a fine of up to 350 euros.

If the citizen continues to fail to appear for inspections, the Law on Administrative Responsibility allows the citizen to be punished again.

For evasion of national defense military service, a person may be prosecuted in accordance with the procedures set out in the Criminal Law.

The law stipulates that until 2027, the SAD will not call up citizens who permanently live in foreign countries and have notified their address of residence abroad to the Directorate of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in accordance with the procedures specified in the laws and regulations.

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