Berlin, Vilnius discuss increasing German military contingent in Lithuania

Berlin and Vilnius are in talks on increasing Germany's military presence in Lithuania "in light of current events", Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on Friday.

“We are talking about possibilities to expand, increase the German and the Enhanced Forward Presence forces in Lithuania, as we need to strengthen the eastern flank of NATO in light of the current events,” Mr Nauseda said at the Siauliai air base, referring to the current situation near the Ukrainian border, where Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops.

Germany leads an international battlegroup in Lithuania

Germany is leading an international battlegroup of more than 1,000 soldiers in Lithuania, one of four Enhanced Forward Presence missions sent by NATO to the Baltic states and Poland in 2017 in response to Russia annexing Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.

Worsening security situation in Eastern Europe could affect Baltic States: official

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A German Defence Ministry spokesperson said on Friday he was not aware of plans to increase German military plans in Lithuania.

“There are definitely contingent rotations coming up, but this would not lead to an increase. Of the reinforcement forces, it is not planned to send any to the battlegroup. I do not know anything to the contrary,” he told reporters in Berlin.

Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said plans were already in place for additional allied troops to come to Lithuania, including where they would be deployed. He did not detail the plans.

“The more aggressive Russian behaviour is, the more allies will be in Lithuania,” said Anusauskas.

Moscow demands a redrawing of post-Cold War security arrangements in Europe.

Russia mobilises over 127,000 soldiers near Ukrainian border

The Ministry of National Defence of Ukraine has reported about the mobilisation of over 127,000 Russian land, air and navy troops near the country’s border. As it added, ballistic missiles, radio and satellite equipment used for intelligence activities and ammunition supplies were collected at the border training grounds and field hospitals were also established there.