Lithuanian army chief calls German brigade decision political, refrains to comment

  • 2022-12-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Chief of Defense of Lithuania Valdemaras Rupsys says the decision on the deployment of a German brigade in Lithuania is a political one, and he refuses to comment on it.

"The presence or absence of a brigade is a political decision. And I will certainly not comment today on what politicians will decide," Rupsys told reporters on Thursday after meeting with his German counterpart Eberhard Zorn in Vilnius.

The Lithuanian and German armies are working on "some details" related to the needs of the German brigade, for example, warehousing or training.

Rupsys' comment came amid reignited debate on the Vilnius-Berlin brigade agreement, with Lithuania maintaining that Germany committed to deploying a full brigade in Lithuania.

The agreement was signed in Vilnius in June by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and it states that "in addition to the current and reinforced enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group already in place, Germany is ready to lead a robust and combat-ready brigade in Lithuania dedicated to deter and defend against Russian aggression".

Germany has so far only deployed the planned brigade's forward command element to Lithuania.

Earlier on Thursday, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis called on the Lithuanian and German leaders to explain what they exactly agreed on.

The German army chief refrained to provide comment on his visit to Lithuanian media.

German officials say a brigade assigned to Lithuania would be deployed in the country within 10 days, if necessary.