Earlier, Arvydas had reiterated his government's desire for a permanent German brigade to be stationed in Lithuania. The situation requires a "stronger presence of partners in the region to ensure deterrence," he said, referring to the threat posed by Russia. "NATO's line of defense starts here," he said.
Germany is currently leading the NATO combat group Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) in Rukla, Lithuania, and is on site with almost 800 Bundeswehr soldiers. There is also a brigade as part of the Enhanced Vigilance Activity (EVA), which is kept ready in Germany for a quick deployment in Lithuania.
Pistorius expressed reservations about the desire for a Bundeswehr brigade to be permanently stationed in Lithuania. On the one hand, the necessary infrastructure is still missing to accommodate 5,000 soldiers, including their families and civilian personnel, in the Baltic state. On the other hand, NATO must decide what "is the right thing militarily in terms of deterrence and flexibility."
"The medium and long-term structure of our presence in Lithuania will be the subject of further bilateral talks, but also of NATO consultations and decisions in Brussels on the eastern flank as a whole," said Pistorius. "This will certainly reach the finish line in the next few months."