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German lawmaker slams decision to send tanks to Lithuiania for NATO drills

November 11, 2016, 15:02 UTC+3 BERLIN

Sahra Wagenknecht believes the decision to send German military personnel and tanks as part of NATO’s multi-national battalion to the territory of Lithuania is provocation

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© EPA/JENS BUETTNER

BERLIN, November 11. /TASS/. The decision to send German military personnel and tanks as part of NATO’s multi-national battalion to the territory of Lithuania by no means promotes a dialog with Russia, the co-leader of the Left Party’s faction in the German parliament, Sahra Wagenknecht, has told TASS.

"I believe that the decision to deploy Bundeswehr personnel and tanks near the Russian border 75 years after Germany attacked the Soviet Union is an irresponsible provocation. Prolonged presence of NATO troops near the Russian border contradicts the existing agreements with Moscow. The European Union’s eastward expansion and the deployment of the alliance’s troops is a poison for peace and stability in Europe." Wagenknecht said.

"Even if this is going to be a purely symbolic gesture one has to admit that against the backdrop of conflicts in Syria and Ukraine there must be a dialog with Russia, and not aggressive saber rattling," she believes.

Earlier, German Defense Ministry spokesman Thomas Frueh told TASS that Berlin would send Leopard-2 tanks to Lithuania, adding that it had not been decided yet how many of them would be delegated to the NATO contingent. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that Germany would dispatch 400 to 600 men to Lithuania. The declared strength of NATO’s battalion in Lithuania is about 1,000. Apart from Germany five other countries - Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Croatia, - may contribute their military personnel.

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