Minister of Defense: We have plans to develop the Youth Guard

Even though Latvia will not be following Lithuania in reinstating mandatory military service, there are plans to develop the Youth Guard and to promote patriotic ideas, said Minister of Defense Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens and Farmers Union) on Tuesday in an interview to Latvian Radio.

The Youth Guard is the youth organization of the National Guard, educating young people from 10 to 21 years old. Bergmanis announced plans to create a Youth Guard unit in every municipality by 2018.

Bergmanis also talked about increasing the professional army personnel by 1,000 within the next few years. He also said that one of the priorities is strengthening the combat abilities of the National Guard, as well as to encourage reservists to participate in training.

"If any bureaucratic obstacles arise, it is what I will deal with so there are no future delays too," said Bergmanis.

Bergmanis also referred to the plans of increasing state military expenditures to 2% of the GDP by 2018, saying that there is a widespread consensus to follow through with the plan. 

Raimonds Bergmanis became Minister of Defense after president Raimonds Vējonis (Greens and Farmers Union) took office. 

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