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2015.09.08 13:45

Grybauskaitė visits the Rukla Training Centre

Algirdas Acus2015.09.08 13:45

President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė visited the training centre in Rukla where rotating US soldiers are based, and where conscripts will be trained if Parliament approves reintroducing conscription.

President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė visited the training centre in Rukla where rotating US soldiers are based, and where conscripts will be trained if Parliament approves reintroducing conscription.

Around 200 soldiers are currently going through basic training in Rukla. Grybauskaitė visited premises were soldiers are taught to disassemble and assemble weapons, as well as the laser shooting-range, which was created in cooperation with scientists from Kaunas University of Technology.

President visited a canteen where she tasted army food.

Grybauskaitė said that the infrastructure meets the highest standards, and Rukla is ready to train conscripts under the same conditions, under which rotating US soldiers live. Grybauskaitė talked with American militaries as well.

The US has stationed a company of troops in each of the Baltic States and Poland, since the spring of 2014.

On Thursday, Lithuanian Parliament starts to discuss the law, which should return conscription as the  State Defence Council suggested. When asked if there will be enough political will, Grybauskaitė emphasised that ensuring defence of the state is the constitutional duty of every parliamentarian.

If the Parliament approves conscription, first conscripts, around 3500 men, could be called this September, with volunteers being a priority.

SHOTLIST

Grybauskaitė visits barracks where Lithuanian volunteer soldiers live

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

DALIA GRYBAUSKAITĖ, President of Lithuania:
Conditions are very good. If we will decide on conscripts, all conditions for them to fulfil their duty and to train or rest will be of the highest quality. Our allies from the US are also based here, and in the autumn there soldiers from other NATO countries will arrive. They will live, rest and train under the same conditions.

Grybauskaitė talks to American soldiers

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

JONAS VYTAUTAS  ŽUKAS, Chief of Lithuanian Armed Forces:
Right here we will not have a place for all, but part of the first conscripts will come here and will follow a three months training course, while others will go directly to the units and will train there, since here there will be not enough place. Our allies from America, Portugal and Belgium will stay here, as we don’t have enough barracks for such amount of soldiers.

Grybauskaitė visits canteen

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

DALIA GRYBAUSKAITĖ, President of Lithuania:
We have looked into the canteen as well, and I can tell you that the food is even better than that we have at the Presidential Office.

Cutaway

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

DALIA GRYBAUSKAITĖ, President of Lithuania:
I really hope that all members of our Parliament understand their constitutional duty, and the Constitutional Court made it clear in 2009 that we must secure the appropriate defence of the state, each member of the Parliament.

Shot of a barrack

Soundbite (Lithuanian)