Germany to Permanently Deploy 4,800 Troops in Lithuania

Lithuania borders the Russian oblast of Kaliningrad and Russia's ally Belarus

Germany is set to permanently station 4,800 troops in Lithuania as part of NATO’s military buildup in Eastern Europe aimed at Russia.

Lithuania shares a border with Kaliningrad, the Russian oblast on the Baltic Sea that’s separated from the Russian mainland. Germany already leads a NATO deployment in Lithuania with 1,000 troops, but an agreement signed on Monday will establish a permanent home for German soldiers.

The new German units will be based in two locations: the town of Rukla, which is 60 miles from the border of Kaliningrad, and near Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius, just 20 miles from Russia’s ally Belarus.

Map of Lithuania (Source: Nations Online Project)

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius signed the deal with his Lithuanian counterpart on Monday. “With this war-ready brigade, we are assuming a leadership responsibility here in the alliance and on NATO’s eastern flank,” he said. “The speed of the project clearly shows that Germany understood the new security reality.”

New deployments will begin next year, but the full force will not be established until 2027. Germany plans to send a tank brigade to Lithuania, but one of the armored units that will be part of the deployment sent all of its Leopard tanks to Ukraine, and it’s unclear if they will be replenished by 2027.

Also on Monday, the US signed a deal with NATO’s newest member, Finland, to access 15 bases in the country, including one on the Russian border. Moscow has warned the expansion of NATO infrastructure will lead to an increased Russian military buildup in the region.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.