Sweden decided to introduce conscription for military service, "as a response to the situation" in Europe, the country's defense Minister told CNN Thursday.
The government on Thursday re-introduced compulsory military service in the country for the first time since 2010, and for the first time on a gender equal basis. The Minister of defence of Sweden Peter Hultqvist called as the reason for the "occupation" by Russia Crimea.
"After the Russian annexation of Crimea is against international law, as well as their increase in military exercises near the border, we have a new situation in terms of security," said Hultqvist. Hultqvist added that Sweden "to strengthen its military cooperation with Finland, and with NATO partners." Sweden is not a NATO member, but it has contributed to operations under NATO leadership and has bilateral relations with the Alliance through the Partnership for peace.
The country has suspended conscription in 2010, and adopted a system of recruitment, which relied on volunteers. The decision to increase defense spending by $720 million over 5 years was made in Feb 2015.
Recruits will spend 9 to 11 months in training before you choose whether to pursue a career in the armed forces or join as a reserve soldier. Sweden, a neutral country stepped up their defensive efforts in recent months.
In September, Sweden sent 150 soldiers to the island of Gotland, which lies between the mainland and several former Soviet Baltic States amid rising tensions with Russia.
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