“Germany stands by its commitment as a NATO member, as Europe’s biggest economy, to stand up for the protection of the eastern flank,” Pistorius said during a visit to Vilnius on Monday,.
In the past, Berlin said it would take Lithuania years to provide barracks, housing areas for the families, depots and sufficient training grounds.
“Precondition is that the necessary infrastructure is in place,” he told reporters .
Germany already leads NATO’s multi-national battlegroup in Lithuania, a reinforced battalion of some 1,000 troops, meant to strengthen the alliance’s eastern flank.
Beyond this, a German brigade is on stand-by in Germany to rapidly reinforce troops in Lithuania if needed. Vilnius, however, has long demanded the permanent presence of a full German brigade.
“We agree that the brigade will grow step by step as the infrastructure is established,” Pistorius noted, adding that such a deployment could not be completed within “a few months”.
On July 11-12, NATO leaders will meet for a summit in Vilnius.