News

2015.09.08 13:45

German Minister of Defence visits Lithuania

Algirdas Acus2015.09.08 13:45

German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen, during her visit in Lithuania, has promised to sell artillery units and stressed solidarity with Eastern NATO Allies amid Russian military activity in Kaliningrad.

German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen, during her visit in Lithuania, has promised to sell artillery units and stressed solidarity with Eastern NATO Allies amid Russian military activity in Kaliningrad.

Lithuania is seeking PzH 2000 type howitzers. After the meeting between von der Leyen and her Lithuanian counterpart Juozas Olekas in Vilnius ministers said that experts would open specific talks on the howitzers in May.

The meeting should also address the possibility for Lithuania to purchase German armoured vehicles Boxer, although Vilnius has not yet made its final decision in this respect.

Von der Leyen said experts would invoke a solidarity clause on price when they finalize the deal next month.

German Minister of Defense stressed that Germany does follow increased Russian activity in Kaliningrad region bordering Poland and Lithuania, and does understand their concern.

Von der Leyen reiterated German collective defence commitments to Eastern Allies and noted that Germany intends to send 500 troops more to exercises in Lithuania this year.

Lithuanian Minister of Defence Juozas Olekas said the NATO support by troops is very important, while Lithuania is expanding its opportunities to welcome even more deployments.

SHOTLIST

Soundbite (German) Approximate translation based on Lithuanian translation after the answers,
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, German Minister of Defence:
It was decided during NATO summit that security enforcements in Eastern Neighbours will be ensured by principle of rotation. It means that soldiers of various NATO countries will be deployed, not only Germans. Germany throughout the year will send its soldiers to the three Baltic States, three to four months in Estonia, then Latvia, later to Lithuania. This is how Germany will participate, but Germany will not be the only, other NATO allies will participate as well.

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

JUOZAS OLEKAS, Lithuanian Minister of Defence:
It is not very important how we will call these enforcements, it is important that NATO forces are here, the forces of our Allies. We are doing everything to create them good opportunities to stay, and to welcome more troops. As you know we are enlarging training areas, polygons, to make our country safe.

Soundbite (German) Approximate translation based on Lithuanian translation after the answers,
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, German Minister of Defence:
We did notice an increased transportation and movement of military equipment in Kaliningrad, during last year, as well as increased military activity. Therefore we do follow it very closely and we do understand our Eastern Allies concern when it comes to their security. That is why it was decided to implement constant presence program in our Eastern neighbours. We want to declare our solidarity to Eastern NATO Allies and we want to support them.

Soundbite (German) Approximate translation based on Lithuanian translation after the answers,
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, German Minister of Defence:
Lithuania has asked us to sell artillery systems, we checked if we do have such opportunities, I think we will negotiate as partners in solidarity when it comes to price, but in any case Lithuania plans to purchase it.

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

JUOZAS OLEKAS, Lithuanian minister of Defence:
It means we will be able to start purposeful negotiations of experts next month, which will allow us to purchase the needed equipment.