2019.07.03 09:57

Proposed EC president has no Russia illusions, Lithuanian MoD says

Vaidotas Beniušis, BNS 2019.07.03 09:57

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, proposed for president of the European Commission, knows Lithuania very well and has no illusions on Russia, Lithuanian Minister of Defense Raimundas Karoblis said.

In his words, the politician demonstrated leadership when Germany decided to sent troops to Lithuania.

"She knows Lithuanian fairly well. Over the two and a half years I am in this position, there have been two of her visits," Karoblis told BNS on Tuesday. "She is aware of Lithuania's situation, we've had common stories of propaganda attacks; I believe she has no illusions regarding Russia."

The Lithuanian defense minister also said von der Leyen has done everything "within the capacity of the coalition to ensure Germany's leadership in Europe and in the defense field", and she stands out in terms of her honest and realistic assessment of the situation on the common defense policy in Europe.

The German minister has also demonstrated her ability to seek compromise on issues with different opinions, Karoblis said.

Germany has been the leading nation of the multinational NATO battalion in Lithuania since 2017 and has sent troops to the Baltic states and Poland to deter Russia.

The German defense minister is yet to be confirmed by the European Parliament.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said after the EU summit "there will be various reactions and discussions in the European Parliament".

She said Lithuania would benefit from the German politician in EU's key position.

"We know the German defense minister well, and she is favorable to Lithuania and helped very much for the German-led battalion to come into being," Grybauskaite said.