VILNIUS - It is essential to increase the number of troops deployed in the Baltic states in response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said after his meeting with Baltic leaders in Vilnius on Tuesday.
“We have envisaged that we will scale up our contribution to the strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank, we will create a strong brigade, have discussed that with each other and will have to work on this,” Scholz said at a news conference following his meeting with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.
Scholz reassured the Baltic states that members of the Alliance were committed to defending and protecting every single centimeter of its territory.
“Maximum readiness and beefed up forces in our region are the security guarantee of the whole Alliance. We have agreed that it is necessary to enhance defense capabilities in the Baltic countries by increasing the number of troops deployed and by strengthening air and sea defense,” Nauseda said at the news conference.
The Baltic states are urging NATO leaders to decide at a summit in Madrid in late June on boosting the multinational allied battalions stationed in the Baltic countries and Poland to the size of brigades.