The first group of soldiers from Germany arrived in Lithuania on Sunday as part of a NATO initiative to boost its eastern flank in the face of Russia's war against Ukraine.
Around 100 armored infantry troops and almost 40 military vehicles were transferred by ship across the Baltic Sea to the NATO country to help develop what the alliance calls an "enhanced forward presence."
Germany is to lead a combat brigade of 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers for Lithuania, and the German concept envisages stationing weapons, ammunition and command staff on the ground.
After arriving at the port of the city of Klaipeda, the troop contingent set off for the Lithuanian military base in Rukla. The majority of the soldiers will remain on standby in Germany.
In Klaipeda, German Brig. Gen. Christian Nawrat spoke of a "clear reassurance of solidarity towards Lithuania in the alliance."
Lithuanian Brig. Gen. Arturas Radvilas said that by establishing the brigade, Germany was the first to take "such an important practical step" in the Baltic region.
Lithuania borders Russia's Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad as well as Russia's ally Belarus. Currently, a German-led NATO battalion with about 1,600 soldiers is stationed in the Baltic EU state in northeastern Europe.