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German, Lithuanian FMs agree to more military cooperation

November 11, 2022

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said his country would be ready to host a German military brigade by 2026. He made the announcement after meeting with Germany's Annalena Baerbock.

Annalena Baerbock
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Germany stands behind its troop commitment '100%'Image: Benjamin Westhoff/REUTERS

Lithuania will invest in infrastructure to be ready to host a German military brigade on its soil by 2026, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in Berlin after meeting with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock on Friday.

"By 2026, Lithuania will be ready to accept a full brigade with everything that it entails. We will have warehouses, barracks — everything that is needed," Landsbergis said.

"This is a very significant step for Lithuania, a very significant investment", he added.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock welcomed the news, saying "Your security is our security. Eastern Europe's security is Germany's security.  She added, "No propaganda or threats will split our alliance, our friendship."

Baerbock offered no concrete information as to when Lithuania could expect to welcome more German troops.

Scholz pledges more Baltic support

Opinions vary between Berlin and Vilnius as to the final make up of what is expected to be the stationing of as many as 5,000 German soldiers on NATO's eastern flank by 2026.

Vilnius wants all of Germany's promised troops stationed on its soil, whereas Berlin wants most stationed in Germany but ready for immediate deployment to Lithuania or "wherever they are needed."

Baerbock said Berlin stood behind its committment "100%," noting that more than 1,000 German troops are already stationed in Lithuania.

Foreign Minister Landsbergis said the German decision was very much appreciated, commenting that the only way to influence Russia's decision making was to station more troops on NATO's eastern flank.

Vilnius expects Germany's approval of its infrastructure work and the deployment of troops by the time the 2023 NATO summit takes place next June. 

Lithuania: Germany increases troop presence

jsi, js/aw (dpa, Reuters)