Germany and Lithuania are currently working on a road map for the deployment of a brigade of German soldiers to Lithuania, according to Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. The plan was announced several weeks ago, with Germany intending to send approximately 4,000 troops to Lithuania, which already hosts 1,500 German troops as part of a NATO battlegroup.
In an interview with the news outlet ERR, Pistorius explained that the deployment aims to demonstrate “solidarity and responsibility in the East Wing.” However, there are still various tasks to complete before the soldiers can be deployed. Pistorius stated that Germany and Lithuania anticipate having a road map and a clear plan by the end of November or early December.
Infrastructure is one key area that needs to be addressed before the troops can be deployed. Pistorius emphasized the need for sufficient barracks, warehouses, training areas, and civilian infrastructure for military families. He acknowledged that this presents a significant challenge for Lithuania and Germany, as it would be unprecedented for the German Bundeswehr to deploy an entire brigade overseas. The aim is to have the brigade established by the end of 2024.
Pistorius also stressed that German soldiers who become part of this unit must do so voluntarily, and Berlin must find ways to persuade servicemen and their families to live in another country. To achieve this, Germany plans to learn from the experiences of the US and UK in creating appropriate conditions for their military personnel.
Regarding Russia, Pistorius characterized it as a “temporary threat,” without clarifying whether this perception might change in the near future. He likened the situation to looking into a crystal ball and suggested that it would likely remain this way for at least the next few years. In June, Germany signed its first-ever National Security Strategy, in which it described Russia as the “greatest threat to peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic area.” The strategy cited the Ukraine conflict as evidence, while Russia has consistently maintained that the West’s ambitions and attempts to undermine Russia caused the conflict and strained relations with the US and EU.
The deployment of German troops to Lithuania forms part of NATO’s efforts to reinforce its eastern flank as a response to Russia’s actions in recent years. It underscores the alliance’s commitment to protecting its member states and maintaining security in the region. The road map being developed by Germany and Lithuania will be instrumental in successfully carrying out this deployment, ensuring the necessary infrastructure and conditions are in place for the German soldiers and their families.