According to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, Germany stands "without ifs or buts" for the military protection of NATO partners in the Baltic States. During a visit to a military exercise at the Pabrade military training area in Lithuania, he thanked German soldiers for their service, which was an important contribution to deterrence.
He said: "Until 1990, the Federal Republic of Germany was the eastern flank. Our security was guaranteed by NATO and its allies." And today "Poland, the Baltic States and other countries are the eastern flank".
Pistorius attended the Lithuanian-German military exercise "Griffin Lightning" in a snowy forest area. The soldiers had been out and about in sub-zero temperatures for a few days. "We are clearly very, very strong here. None of the other nations have more than we have here, as far as I can see and, above all, so consistently," said Pistorius on Germany's commitment in the Baltic States.
Pistorius: Brigade covered 1,200 kilometers in "record time"
He expressed skepticism about stationing the German combat brigade intended for the protection of Lithuania entirely in the country, as was demanded in the Baltic state. "The idea is that individual units, possibly even the entire brigade, are repeatedly transferred to Lithuania to practice here. That's the plan," said Pistorius. Panzergrenadierbrigade 41 has proven "that it has what it takes, that it works". He said the brigade covered 1,200 kilometers from Germany "in record time," with just one vehicle breakdown.
Pistorius: "And then I was told that the vehicle was older than the commander of the troops. That can happen from time to time." It was a truck.
Pistorius then wanted to hold military-political talks in the capital, Vilnius. There are currently around 1,450 soldiers from Germany in Lithuania, including parts of the brigade involved in the exercises.