VILNIUS – To deter Russia from further aggressive actions, Germany is ready to send more troops to Lithuania, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said in Lithuania on Tuesday.
"We must introduce tougher deterrence measures, and we stand ready to send more troops (to the region – BNS), both land and air forces. Also, to send more troops to Lithuania to send a signal that we stand in solidarity with partners," she told a press conference in Lithuania's Rukla on Tuesday without providing more details on additonal deployment.
"I cannot say how everything will look like, we have a plan for that," she said.
On Monday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees recognizing the two self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and ordering Russian troops into the separatist-held regions.
Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anusauskas says there are now some 130,000 Russian troops near Ukraine's borders, including some 30,000 stations in Belarus.
"To add to what the minister said, I would say that Russia's fueled threats are not a short-term factor, therefore, our military and security cooperation should not be short-term, it should be long-term, looking into the perspective," he said.
Leading the international NATO battalion in Lithuania, German last week sent in more troops to Lithuania, and plans to bring the number of the additional troops to 350 by the end of this week.