2023.03.17 10:59

Germany under unjustified pressure over brigade – Lithuania's Skvernelis

BNS 2023.03.17 10:59

Berlin is under unjustified pressure over the deployment of a German brigade in Lithuania, says Saulius Skvernelis, former prime minister and leader of the opposition Democrats "For Lithuania" political group.

"I believe the rhetoric and the actions of the ruling block do not contribute to finding a pragmatic dialogue between Lithuania and Germany. It seems from the outside that the German side comes under unjustified pressure", he told the Žinių Radijas radio on Friday.

During his visit to Lithuania last week, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said decisions on the permanent deployment of a German brigade in Lithuania depended on NATO's position.

Skvernelis says Lithuania has not yet done its homework in providing the right infrastructure for allies.

A joint communiqué signed by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz last June says that "Germany is ready to lead a robust and combat-ready brigade in Lithuania dedicated to deter and defend against Russian aggression".

Read more: If Berlin is serious about defence, it needs to deploy brigade to Lithuania – interview

"To demand and reproach the German side, all the more so we have no agreement between the Lithuanian and German governments in general… We have a communiqué between the president and the German chancellor, which is basically equivalent to a public statement after a meeting," Skvernelis said.

Vilnius wants a full German brigade to be deployed permanently in Lithuania. Berlin officials, however, previously said that only part of the brigade will be stationed in Lithuania and the rest will stay at home but will be ready to redeploy quickly if necessary.

Berlin is leading the multinational NATO battalion deployed in Lithuania since 2017.

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