VILNIUS – Additional German troops arrived in Lithuania on Monday to reinforce NATO's enhanced Forward Present Battle Group stationed in the country, the Defense Ministry said.
The German Defense Ministry is sending additional troops to Lithuania this week in response to Russia's increasingly aggressive military action near Ukraine's borders and the worsening security situation in the Baltic states, it said in a press release.
Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Andra, the commander of the multi-national battalion, said at a news conference at Kaunas Airport that 350 troops and a hundred vehicles would be added to the force.
Around 100 troops arrived on Monday and others will join the battalion in the coming days, according to the commander.
"Over the next few days, I expect some 350 troops and about a hundred additional vehicles to complement our Forward Presence Battle Group," Andra said.
All the additional troops will be stationed in Rukla, in central Lithuania, according to Andra.
"We look forward to their arrival and their integration into our battle group. As a commander, I am always pleased to receive additional capabilities and I am really happy that we will receive a reinforcement in the near future," the commander said.
"We have as much space (in Rukla) as we need, and we have tents, too, and we can also accommodate more than 500 or 600 troops additionally," he said.
When asked whether there was any information about threats related to nuclear security, as specialists in this field are coming, the commander said there was no such data, but it was necessary to be prepared for any scenario.
Germany leads the 1,200-strong battle group and currently had 500 soldiers stationed there. Berlin has said recently that it will send around 350 additional troops to Lithuania.
"The NATO eFP Battle Group has been deployed in Lithuania and manned on a rational basis since 2017. It has been provided in the original concept that reinforcement may be sent in if necessary," according to the Lithuanian Defense Ministry.
Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Luxembourg and Iceland have contributed military civilian and personnel to the battle group since its deployment five years ago.