Scholz wants to strengthen Nato’s eastern flank

During a visit to Lithuania, the German chancellor has pledged increased military commitment to the defence of Nato’s eastern flank. 

Scholz will Nato-Ostflanke stärken

Vilnius (dpa) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has promised Lithuania additional military support for its defence against a possible Russian attack. “We are resolved to increase our contribution,” Scholz said after talks with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and the heads of government of all three Baltic states in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

The chancellor announced that Germany’s engagement was to be developed “with a view to creating a robust combat brigade”. He also promised: “As allies within Nato, we feel committed to each other and we will defend every inch of Nato territory in the event of an attack.”

Currently, a German-led Nato battalion of 1,600 soldiers is stationed in Lithuania – of which more than 1,000 belong to the Bundeswehr. A brigade usually consists of about 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers. Scholz’s visit to Lithuania marked the first time since the beginning of the Ukraine war that he had visited a Nato country that borders Russia and feels particularly threatened. In the capital, he met with Nauseda and the heads of government of all three Baltic states, including Latvia and Estonia.

Estonia and Latvia welcomed Germany’s pledge. “We very much appreciate Germany’s efforts as a Nato framework nation to strengthen the defence of Lithuania and the Baltic States. This means that we feel safer and are not alone,” said Estonian head of government Kaja Kallas.