Lithuanian defmin on alternatives to German brigade: 'We have no other agreements'

  • 2023-05-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Amid Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis' call to consider asking other allies for a larger military presence until Germany deploys its brigade in Lithuania, Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said on Monday that there are "no other agreements". 

"Our agreement with Germany was and remains in place. We have no other agreements," he told reporters after the State Defense Council's meeting. 

Landsbergis said in an interview published by the 15min news website earlier on Monday that Lithuania might consider requesting additional forces from other NATO allies as it has "no answer" as to whether the German brigade will be deployed on its territory at its full capacity.

"I have mentioned theoretically that while we are waiting for Germany, maybe we can ask others for help? This is because the threat to Lithuania today, in my estimation, has not diminished since February 24 last year," the foreign minister said. 

"Parallel, let's say, directions. Not replacing, but working in parallel," he said when asked about the possibility of looking for alternatives to the German brigade.

Landsbergis did not name potential partners for the deployment of additional troops in Lithuania, but confirmed that the United States and Poland could be among them.

 President Gitanas Nauseda and Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed in Vilnius last year on the deployment of a German brigade in Lithuania. However, Vilnius and Berlin differ on the size of the deployment of the military unit. 

Vilnius is seeking the permanent presence of a full-sized brigade in the country, but Berlin has so far only deployed its forward command element and says that part of the brigade will be stationed in Lithuania and part will stay in Germany.

Nauseda said in April that Scholz and he had agreed on the gradual deployment of the German brigade in Lithuania. 

Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, has said that Lithuania will be ready to host the brigade in 2026.