After official announcement of the US plans to quadruple its defence budget for Europe, Lithuania's Defence Minister Juozas Olekas says this would mean deployment of a larger number of US troops and equipment in Lithuania.
Juozas Olekas
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

"We are ready to receive additional troops and prepositioned military equipment, and we will make investment in this," the minister told BNS on Tuesday.

"Speaking about specific numbers for Lithuania is premature, however, we will probably have more troops training here and more deployed equipment, as the defence secretary said, as far as I understand, the equipment will not be just for training but also combat equipment," Olekas added.

Nevertheless, in his words, the bulk of the US budget for Europe would go towards development of the existing American bases in Europe and deployment of equipment there.

The minister said the US presence in Europe was "crucial for security", adding that the US thus demonstrated its actions to adapt to the changed security situation, which was altered by the Russian annexation of the Crimea peninsula and its support to separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

"I believe that these steps are simply deterring the potential aggressor from aggression against NATO member-states," said the Lithuanian defence minister.

On Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the US defence budget for Europe would amount to USD 3.4 billion (€3.1 billion) next year, up from USD 789 million in 2016.

The US is currently stationing a rotational company of troops in each of the Baltic states, as well as the heavy military equipment for the soldiers.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuanian, US, NATO battalion troops test new firing range in Pabradė

Lithuanian and American troops as well as soldiers from the Lithuania-based international NATO...

NATO jets in Baltic scrambled once to intercept Russian plane

NATO fighter jets, stationed in the Baltic states as part of the NATO air policing mission, were...

US Army deploys tanks, IFVs to Lithuania for training

The US Army's Abrams tanks and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles were on Friday transported to...

Defense Ministry moves to lower upper age limit for conscripts to 23 years (Updated)

The Lithuanian Defense Ministry proposes to lower the upper age limit for draftees for mandatory...

Croatia to rejoin NATO battalion in Lithuania in 2 years

Croatia plans to rejoin NATO 's multinational battalion in Lithuania in two years' time, the...