MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. The forthcoming permanent deployment of Germany’s Bundeswehr brigade in Lithuania heralds a build-up of NATO's military presence near Russia's borders, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has told a news briefing.
"The increase in the activity and military potentials of NATO and its member states near Russia's borders is provocative," she said. "It leads to an escalation of military tensions, not to their easing, contrary to what Western politicians have been telling ordinary Europeans."
She recalled that the agreement under which the Bundeswehr's military presence in Lithuania would be brought to the level of a brigade was signed by Berlin and Vilnius in December 2023.
"The deployment of the contingent will begin in 2025 with the aim to achieve its operational readiness by 2027, provided that the Lithuanians create the necessary infrastructure," she continued. "The brigade of almost 5,000 officers and men and 200 civilian personnel will be permanently stationed in Lithuania."
Zakharova stressed that as soon as the brigade reached operational readiness, "NATO intends to transfer under its command the combat tactical group, which is now operating in Lithuania."
"The build-up of NATO's forces on the eastern flank is proceeding at an accelerated pace," Zakharova pointed out. "This is being done both on a coalition and bilateral basis. In addition, this year, a series of military exercises will be held on the territory of the Baltic states, their scenarios providing for so-called preparation for a large-scale conflict.".