VILNIUS – Lithuania’s Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas will discuss regional security with his Baltic counterparts and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Brussels on Friday.
“Lithuanian and US defense officials will discuss the issues of regional security and the presence of American troops in this region,” Liepa Rimkeviciene, spokeswoman for the Lithuanian minister, told BNS.
Lithuania wants the battalion of the allies, which has been stationed in the country since 2017, to be upgraded to a brigade in the light of the heightened threat posed by Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.
According to Anusauskas, NATO has a consensus on the development of a brigade-sized unit of the allies for Lithuania but the final wording of expected decisions will only become known during the summit of the Alliance in Madrid.
Final decisions on the boosting of forces on NATO’s eastern flank will be made later in June by NATO’s Madrid summit, which will adopt a new strategic concept of the Alliance.
The Baltic countries have also asked to clearly identify the threat posed by Russia to the Alliance in that document.