Berlin is ready to deploy its troops in Lithuania to defend against Russia
Germany may deploy a 4,000-strong army brigade in Lithuania to protect NATO's eastern borders in accordance with the North Atlantic Alliance's defence planning.
Reuters reports this with reference to German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius.
"Germany, as a NATO member, as Europe's largest economy, remains committed to defending its eastern flank," Pistorius said.
However, according to the German official, in order to implement such a decision, it will be necessary to create the proper infrastructure: warehouses, barracks, housing for families, training grounds, etc.
According to Pistorius, the number of the German brigade in Lithuania will increase as the proper infrastructure is created. And, according to the minister, this cannot be done within "a few months".
The deployment of this type of army brigade should also be coordinated with NATO's regional plan, in which the Alliance has clearly spelled out how member states will respond to potential Russian aggression.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said he aims to complete the construction of the infrastructure needed for the deployment of German troops by 2026.
"We are simplifying procedures... in order to be able to complete the construction of the infrastructure by 2026. But I will not be angry if the Minister of Defence completes the construction in 2025," the president said.
Lithuania already has a German-led NATO multinational battlegroup of approximately 1,000 troops.
In addition, one of the German brigades is in a permanent state of combat readiness in Germany to quickly reinforce the Lithuanian army if necessary.
However, Lithuania has consistently emphasised the need for a permanent presence of allied military units on its territory.
Recently, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Lithuanian President Boris Pistorius visited military exercises in Lithuania, where soldiers are practising the rapid reinforcement of NATO battlegroups led by Germany - a scenario that would be used in the event of armed aggression by Russia.
Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Germany's decision, but called for a slow build-up of troops on NATO's eastern flank. He stressed that it is extremely important not only to have troops present, but also to have "early warnings and signals" and the ability to respond quickly to them.