2020.06.25 11:23

US risks dividing allies by withdrawing troops from Germany, says Lithuanian minister

BNS2020.06.25 11:23

United States planned troop withdrawal from Germany risks creating divisions among NATO allies, Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis said on Thursday.

“A significant drawdown of US troops from Germany would certainly not be positive. They have the necessary infrastructure, they have procedures and possibilities for training,” he told LRT RADIO on Thursday.

Read more: No need to ‘dramatise’ US troop pullout from Germany, says Lithuanian foreign minister

“We consider that drawdown as a risk of a potential [...] division among NATO countries in Europe,” he added.

Meanwhile, Karoblis welcomed the possibility of having more US troops in Poland.

“Poland is one of those spots that are the most important and we have always welcomed Poland’s efforts to maximise the number of US troops stationed in the country,” added Karoblis.

The US military presence in the region was important for deterrence, he said adding that it would also open up more possibilities to boost America’s military presence in Lithuania.

“In my view, the increased presence of US troops in Poland might also mean more large-scale and more frequent military exercises of American troops in Lithuania,” Karoblis said.

US President Donald Trump, who met Poland’s President Andzej Duda at the White House on Wednesday, told reporters that Washington planned to reassign parts of its troops from Germany to Poland.

The US military presence in Germany would be reduced to 25,000 troops from 52,000, according to Trump. Some troops would be sent back to the US, and others would be reassigned to other countries, he added.

“One of those other locations, other locations in Europe would be Poland,” said Trump.

Read more: Polish president will speak for Lithuania during meeting with Trump, minister says