Lithuania, Germany share approach to defense – Seimas speaker

  • 2023-06-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania and Germany share the same views on defense, Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen said on Friday after her meeting with visiting President of the German Bundestag Barbel Bas in Vilnius.

"We seem to share the view that Lithuania's defense is also Germany's defense. We are all in the same boat and we need to do everything we can for Russia, which is becoming increasingly more aggressive, not to have a shadow of doubt that every inch of NATO's territory is equally well defended," she told BNS on Friday.

The two parliament leaders discussed the agenda of the forthcoming NATO summit in Vilnius in July.

"On the parliaments' side, we are doing what we can to make sure that our governments achieve the best possible result. Clearly, issues like Ukraine's NATO membership prospects are decided by consensus, but Germany's changing attitude and understanding of our position, is very important and essential," Cmilyte-Nielsen said. "Visit like this are bringing our positions closer together on fundamental and core security and defense issues."

The Seimas speaker also thanked her German counterpart for the maximum support she had expressed to Ukraine and the strengthening of NATO's eastern flank.

"I am really glad that the intensity of our bilateral relations and visits is very high, which is a testimony of what an important and close ally Germany is to Lithuania," the Lithuanian speaker said.

According to Cmilyte-Nielsen, the president of the German Bundestag, while in Lithuania, pays a lot of attention to visiting troops, inspecting weaponry and military infrastructure.

"Last week, the Bundestag president visited Pabrade, and tomorrow morning (Saturday - BNS) she is scheduled to visit Rukla. She is well aware of that military part and actively visit it. I confirmed that we are doing our homework and we are ready to receive a larger number of troops and that we hope that the decisions of the Madrid Summit will be put into practice. It is in our interest to do so as soon as possible," the Seimas speaker said.

On Friday, the president of the German Bundestag met with the Seimas speaker, the president and the prime minister. The German politician also visited Lithuania last week when she attended a high-level meeting of the leaders of the parliament of NATO countries, hosted by the Lithuanian Seimas speaker.

Germany is one of Lithuania's most important security partners as it leads an international allied battle group of up to 1,500 troops, deployed in Lithuania since 2017. In addition, a German brigade was assigned to Lithuania last year, but the two countries have still disagreements on its permanent deployment.