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Germans, Belgians Land in Lithuania for NATO Deployment


Belgian APCs lined up for deployment in Lithuania. Photo courtesy of

The first group of German and Belgian troops arrived in Lithuania on January 24, 2017, part of a NATO move to reinforce its eastern flank in a bid to deter a militarily resurgent Russia. A contingentof German officers landed in the Baltic state's capital Vilnius to coordinate the deployment of a 1,200-strong battalion that will include forces from several NATO members.

Hours earlier, some 30 Belgian troops arrived at another airport in western Lithuania while a ship carrying logistical equipment docked at the Baltic Sea port of Klaipeda, according to Lithuania's military spokesman captain Andrius Dilda.

In addition to the German-led battalion in Lithuania, Canada will lead a multi-national battalion in Latvia, Britain in Estonia and the US in Poland.

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite has called Berlin's decision to lead the NATO battalion a "breakthrough" toward it playing a greater role in European defense.

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