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We aim for a reinforcement of NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalions to Brigades, says Minister A. Anušauskas

“Together with the other countries in NATO’s Eastern flank, Lithuania seeks to have the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion to be reinforced to become enhanced Forward Presence Brigades,” said Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas meeting with Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Defence of Germany Thomas Hitschler on April 11.

The officials discussed the security situation and the changed perception of threats in light of the war on Ukraine. Minister thanked Germany for the leadership in the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group stated in Rukla and for bilateral relations. A. Anušauskas stressed the importance of the relations to Lithuania’s security and defence and underscored that implementation of the NATO Forward Defence Concept was a priority to Lithuania.

“The German-led Battle Group at Rukla is an excellent basis for further NATO Forward Presence reinforcement. Given the excellent cooperation between Lithuania and Germany, we would be grateful if Germany would also lead the NATO Brigade in Lithuania. We are ready to do whatever it takes to host additional Allied forces,” Minister said.

Germany is not only the framework nation of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group deployed in Lithuania since 2017 but also the largest troop contributor. Approx. 1,600 Allied troops are serving at Rukla at the moment, 1,000 of them have been deployed by Germany. The country has not only sent additional military personnel in response to the changed security environment but also additional military equipment, including the Ozelot short-range air defence system.

NATO will take decisions on the Forward Defence application and implementation at the NATO Summit in Madrid.

Photo credits: MoD/A.Pliadis

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