Lithuania demands a permanent Bundeswehr presence from Germany

In Lithuania there is dissatisfaction with Germany’s contribution to the defense of its NATO partner. At the weekend, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) visited Bundeswehr soldiers at the Rukla base and spoke of “regular exercises” that the soldiers should attend. In the event of a threat, the unit should be in Lithuania within ten days.

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania based in Warsaw.

“That’s not the agreement we have,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis. “The Germans confirmed that yes, they would come in case of danger. The agreement, as signed by (Lithuania’s) President Nauseda and Chancellor Scholz, is about a brigade ready to fight in Lithuania the Germans” are pronounced “so that they can say whether the dates fit their planning”.

On Tuesday, the Defense Committee in Parliament asked Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas to answer questions next week. The reinforcement of German troops agreed after the NATO summit in Madrid should be achieved through physical presence. “The ten-day model can only be temporary until we are done (with the preparations),” said Laurynas Kasčiūnas, head of the committee. Germany has had a NATO battalion with around 1,600 soldiers in Rukla since 2017.

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