Ambassador met with the Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Lithuania
On July 1, H.E Manfred Rittter Mautner von Markhof, Ambassador of the Order of Malta to Lithuania, met with Mr. Arvydas Anušauskas, Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Lithuania.
The Minister was well informed about the activities of the Order of Malta and the Order of Malta Relief Organization MOPT) volunteers in Lithuania. During the conversation, two main issues were touched upon: the alternative national defense service and the civil defense of the country.
At present, the alternative national defense service in Lithuania could be performed only by those who are unable to serve in the armed forces due to religious or pacifist beliefs. According to the Ambassador, this definition could be extended including people with health problems.
A separate discussion also arose over the location of the alternative military service. Now the law of the Republic of Lithuania states that alternative service can be performed only in state and municipal institutions. The pandemic has shown that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are a strong partner for the state in critical situations.
At the same time, the Ambassador stressed that the Order of Malta are the place for young people to serve in social care and supporting health services. The signed cooperation between the Ministry of Defence and MOPT will involve MOPT more in civil defense.
During the conversation, the Minister asked his advisers whether there would be an opportunity for young people to perform an alternative service in the Order of Malta Relief organization. Assistants replied that this could not be done at this time because it was not regulated by Lithuanian law.
Regarding the civil defense of the country, the Ambassador presented the different possibilities of MOPT pointing out the activities in different European countries and asked Minister how Maltersers could contribute to civil defense activities in Lithuania.