Germany to deploy its brigade once Lithuania is ready – defense chief

  • 2024-05-10
  • BNS/TBT Staff

NEMENCINE, Lithuania – Amid calls by President Gitanas Nauseda for a quicker deployment of Germany's brigade in Lithuania, Chief of Defense Valdemaras Rupsys said on Friday that this will happen "as soon as we are ready".

"We signed back in January a plan outlining Germany's deployment here and our preparedness. The essence of this plan is that (the brigade will be deployed) as soon as we are ready," the general told reporters in Nemencine, close to Vilnius. 

Rupsys also said that options are being considered for relocating the brigade without having all the necessary infrastructure in place

"We have to work in a focused and responsible way to make sure that they can come here.  And, of course, I will be very frank and say that we are talking and looking at options in case some infrastructure is not yet complete and coordinating interim options for deployment so that this redeployment plan can be implemented," he said. 

The chief of defense was speaking in a joint news conference with Ruprecht von Butler, commander of Germany's 10th Armored Division, as the Bundeswehr's large-scale exercise Grand Quadriga 2024 continues in Lithuania. 

Nauseda has said recently that the tense geopolitical situation in the region calls for a faster deployment of the German brigade.

"I am pleased with the progress of the brigade's deployment, but our strategic security environment requires an even faster pace. We do not have the luxury of wasting a single minute," he told reporters on Monday.

Berlin plans to deploy the brigade in Lithuania by 2027. Germany has previously said that the pace of its deployment would depend on Lithuania's readiness to create the necessary conditions to host the troops and their families.

Discussions on the deployment of a German brigade in Lithuania started after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Berlin announced its concrete commitment in June 2023.

The brigade's initial command element, about 20 military personnel, arrived in Lithuania in early April.

Rupsys has said earlier that the final result of the Grand Quadriga exercise will be known in June. 

As part of the exercise, which will run until the end of May, over 3,000 German troops and 200 pieces of equipment, including Leopard tanks, Puma and Boxer IFVs, are to be deployed into Lithuania's Pabrade and Kazlu Ruda training areas. 

The Lithuanian Armed Forces have said that the exercise centers around moving two divisions from the Central European region to the Eastern one. 

Lithuanian units are training alongside the German units to plan and execute operations and are also providing host nation support.