Lithuania needs special law on German brigade infrastructure – Landsbergis

  • 2022-11-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The Lithuanian parliament could adopt a special law to regulate the creation of military infrastructure needed to host a German brigade in Lithuania and to ensure funding for it, says Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, leader of the ruling conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats.

"I would not rule out the need for a law to confirm this. Just as we adopted a law on the construction of a physical barrier on the Belarusian border, all the more so that the money that was allocated for the barrier is much smaller than the money we are talking about investing in military infrastructure," he told reporters at the Seimas on Tuesday.

The law would demonstrate the seriousness of Lithuania's commitments and ensure continuity after the Seimas election, the minister said.

The Lithuanian foreign minister, who was in Germany last week, said he had presented a plan to its partners that Lithuanian would be ready to host a full German brigade of around 5,000 troops by 2026.

"This includes equipment, necessary garages, warehouses and people, and they could be deployed in Lithuania on a rotational basis, like the German or American battalions that are currently deployed," Landsbergis explained, adding that German troops with their equipment could arrive in Lithuania in phases.

"It doesn't mean that in 2026, when we are ready, the whole brigade will move here on the same day. We can grow to a brigade," the minister said.

The minister said he went to Berlin to say that Lithuania is keen to see German troops in the country once the infrastructure is in place.

According to Landsbergis, German representatives are now looking into Lithuania's plan.

"We presented our plan and we want to hear whether it's acceptable to the German side," he said.

Speaking with BNS on Tuesday, Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the Lithuanian parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, said he very much welcomed the idea of the law, adding that he also talked about it over the summer.

"First of all, it would be an act of political mobilization. We have seen from our experience with the barrier law that this is a recipe for success. A new law would show that this is a commitment of all of us, and a clear strategic direction would be set," Kasciunas said.

Germany leads an international allied battled group stationed in Lithuania since 2017, and the country vowed to step up its presence in the region in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Vilnius wants a full rotational German brigade to be permanently deployed in the country and is seeking a clear commitment from Berlin on this issue.

Speaking on Monday, however, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said part of the Berlin-promised military brigade would be deployed in Lithuania, while the rest would stay at home.