Additional German troops get deployed close to Russian border

(MENAFN) In a significant development, Germany has dispatched an advance military team to Lithuania as part of its preparations for establishing a fully operational armor brigade stationed permanently in the Baltic state, which shares a border with Russia. This move has drawn sharp reactions from Moscow, with Russian officials labeling it as a threat necessitating "special measures" in response.

The deployment was marked by the presence of German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who bid farewell to 21 military personnel and civilian employees as they departed from Berlin to Vilnius on Monday. Pistorius lauded the Bundeswehr deployment as a "clear signal of solidarity" with Lithuania, a fellow NATO member.

The Lithuanian Brigade, known as Panzerbrigade 45, is slated to comprise approximately 4,800 soldiers and 200 civilian staff once it reaches full operational capacity in 2027. It will be stationed at the Rudninkai training ground in southeastern Lithuania and near the town of Rukla, with some German troops positioned just 20 kilometers from the Belarusian border, a crucial ally of Russia. Additionally, Lithuania shares a border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

The Lithuanian government has hailed the German deployment as a historic milestone, emphasizing the significance of the enhanced partnership between the two nations. Defense Minister Laurynas Kasciunas welcomed the arrival of the advance team, declaring it as the commencement of "a new chapter in the deepening Lithuanian-German partnership."

While Vilnius portrays the German troop presence as a deterrent against Russian aggression, Moscow perceives it as further evidence of NATO's encroachment on its borders. The development underscores the geopolitical tensions in the region and the complexities surrounding NATO-Russia relations.



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