Lithuania deserves NATO solidarity and defense, Germany's Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in her opening speech at the Munich Security Conference on Friday afternoon.
Ursula von der Leyen
© AFP / Scanpix

In her address to the participants of the conference, she gave a brief overview of Lithuania's history: Soviet and Nazi occupations, the singing revolution and the Soviet aggression of January 13 1991.

"With courage and pride, the people of Lithuania prevailed against an adversary that seemed impossible to defeat. Since then, Lithuania has been part of a unified Europe of democracy and freedom. It is a respected member of EU and NATO, as are Estonia, Latvia and Poland. It is a country that deserves our solidarity and our protection," said the German minister.

Von der Leyen said Germany's decision to head a NATO battalion in Lithuania was in part return of a debt for Allied protection during the Cold War.

"Yes, today again German soldiers are stationed in Lithuania because we had not forgotten that we too owe our freedom and unity to the protection of our Allies for long 40 years," said the minister.

The German-led NATO battalion is being stationed in Lithuania this year in response to Russia's intervention in Ukraine and increased military activity in the Baltic Sea region. Similar units are also deployed in Poland, Latvia and Estonia, headed by the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

Each of the battalions will include about 1,000 troops.

Lithuania prepares for 'spy swap' with Russia

Lithuania and Russia have agreed on an exchange of people convicted of espionage , well-informed...

Parliament speaker's removal vote fails

A vote on the removal of Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis failed on Tuesday...

Parliament board to hold emergency meeting on speaker's removal

The Board of the Lithuanian Seimas is set to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday night to discuss...

Over 50 MPs voice no-confidence in Seimas speaker

Fifty-three Lithuanian MPs have signed a document expressing no-confidence in Viktoras Pranckietis ,...

Lithuania drops to 23rd place on EU's Gender Equality Index

Lithuania fell to number 23 among the EU's 28 member states in the latest ranking by the European...