Klaipeda (dpa) – The first German soldiers for the NATO brigade to strengthen the protection of the NATO partner arrived in Lithuania on Sunday. Around 100 members of Panzergrenadierbrigade 41 and almost 40 military vehicles were transferred by ship across the Baltic Sea to the Baltic EU and NATO country. After arriving at the port of the city of Klaipeda, the contingent of troops made their way to the Lithuanian military base at Rukla. These include hunters from Torgelow and Neubrandenburg and soldiers from Hagenow (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) and reconnaissance officers from Eutin (Schleswig-Holstein).
After the Russian attack on Ukraine, NATO decided to increase protection on the eastern flank. Germany is to lead a combat troops brigade with 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers for Lithuania. The German concept envisages stationing weapons, ammunition and a command staff on site. Most of the soldiers are kept ready in Germany.
In Klaipeda, the German Brigadier General Christian Nawrat spoke of “clear reassurance in the alliance’s solidarity with Lithuania”. Lithuanian Brigadier General Arturas Radvilas said that Germany was the first to take “such an important practical step in our region” by building the brigade.
Lithuania borders the Russian Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad and Russia’s ally Belarus. A German-led NATO battalion with around 1,600 soldiers is currently stationed in the Baltic state in north-eastern Europe, more than half of whom belong to the Bundeswehr.
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