Germany begins tank deployment to Lithuania as part of NATO commitment to Baltics

Tuesday, January 31, 2017
By Paul Martin
31 Jan, 2017

Germany started the deployment of tanks to Lithuania on Tuesday as part of the NATO mission to bolster confidence in Eastern European allies in the face of what they see as Russian aggression.

Germany is one of the countries that agreed to provide troops and weapons for the NATO mission, which involves deploying four battalions in Poland and the three Baltic states.

The German command said it was sending about 200 military vehicles, including 30 tanks along with 450 troops. The transportation of forces will continue until late February, it said.

In early January, US tanks and troops started arriving via Germany to Poland as part of the same mission. The military buildup is the largest since the Cold War and could put into question the NATO-Russia agreement permanently banning the deployment of significant forces by the alliance in Eastern Europe.

NATO rejects such notions, saying the agreement did not specify how big a force should be for it to be considered “significant,” and insists that the deployment is rotational rather than permanent.

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