VILNIUS – Part of the Berlin-promised military brigade would be deployed in Lithuania, while the rest would stay at home, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says, adding that it was agreed between the Lithuanian and German leaders in June.
"Your president and my chancellor agreed on this together and put this in writing together. (...) We need a combat ready brigade which is permanently partly deployed in Lithuania and partly in Germany and which can be deployed in days whenever it is needed," the German minister told reporters after her meeting with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis in Berlin on Friday.
Baerbock reiterated that when asked again whether German troops would be deployed in Lithuania as the latter expects. She also stressed the need for more long-term infrastructure in Lithuania to host allies.
"We need long term infrastructure. In order to (...) be able to deploy a combat ready brigade. And as I said it will be partly in Lithuania but also partly in Germany and that it can be deployed within the framework of a few days," Germany's top diplomat 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.
Signed by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and German Chancellor Olaf Schulz in June, the joint communiqué 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".
The document also states that initially the brigade will be led by a permanently deployed Brigade Forward Command Element in Lithuania, which was deployed in Lithuania several months ago.
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.
Landsbergis says Lithuania will be ready to host a full German brigade in 2026, once the infrastructure is in place.
In his words, that was stated in the agreement between Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, mentioned by the German minister.
"We agreed that a combat ready rotational German brigade permanently deployed in Lithuania is our common goal," Landsbergis said, adding that Lithuania would be ready to host a full German brigade in 2026, once the infrastructure is in place.
In his words, the only reasonable way to change Russia's behavior is to have "more NATO troops in the Baltics".
Baerbock said Germany was committed to the security of Lithuania and NATO's entire eastern flank.
"Your security is our security", she said.
German troops are deployed in Rukla, Lithuania's central district of Jonava, with a total of more than 1,000 troops now in Lithuania.