Germany plans to permanently station 4,000 more soldiers in Lithuania



Germany plans to permanently station an additional 4,000 soldiers in NATO ally Lithuania to help secure the alliance's eastern flank, said German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius during a visit to Vilnius on Monday, without giving a timeline.

He said, however, that the necessary infrastructure must be in place as a precondition. In the past, Berlin said it would take Lithuania years to provide barracks, housing areas for families, depots and training grounds.

"We agree that the brigade will grow step-by-step as the infrastructure is established," Pistorius said, adding that such a deployment could not be completed within "a few months".

Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda said he was aiming for the infrastructure to be in place by 2026.

Germany already leads NATO's multi-national battlegroup in Lithuania, a reinforced battalion of some 1,000 troops.

Beyond this, a German brigade is on standby in Germany to rapidly reinforce troops in Lithuania if needed. Vilnius, however, has long demanded the permanent presence of a full German brigade.

NATO leaders will meet for a summit in Vilnius on July 11-12.