During a visit to Lithuania on Monday, Breuer said the planning process should be finalized by the end of this year and said both countries want to begin “the implementation phase” in 2024.
“We will have a plan at the end of this quarter,” Breuer said at a press conference in Vilnius, speaking alongside the head of the Lithuanian army, Valdemaras Rupšys.
Breuer said the plan was “ambitious” and that the issues being discussed are “very diverse and admittedly very complex.”
“But I know that we can stick to our schedule,” he said.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda expressed his gratitude about the German plans saying: “We are pleased about Germany’s long-term commitment to strenghten Lithuania’s security.”
“I am firmly convinced that it will be a success story that we can share with our allies.”
Germany wants to station a 4,000-soldier combat force in Lithuania, capable of independent action, to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank as the Russian war on Ukraine rages on.
Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour has upended security in Europe and is causing growing concern particularly among countries close to Ukraine and Russia.
Rupšys also said his country’s political and military leadership have an interest in the deployment starting as soon as possible.
“The presence of German troops in Lithuania is particularly important to deter the enemy in the vicinity and to enable the forward defence of Lithuania,” he said.
“We have to create the right conditions,” he added.
Both generals stressed the importance of the appropriate conditions for the members of the armed forces.
“Lithuania is ready to offer German soldiers the best conditions for living and training in Lithuania,” Nauseda stressed. He added that smooth cooperation between Lithuanian and German institutions is very important at this stage.
When asked about reports that some German soldiers did not want to be deployed to Lithuania, Breuer said: “I wouldn’t say there is reluctance. I would rather say the understanding is increasing.”
The German military is breaking new ground with a fixed deployment.
“There is no blueprint for this, so we really have to go into depth, we really have to do it from scratch,” Breuer said.
“One thing is clear: the deployment will be as flexible as possible in line with NATO defence plans. The brigade is part of the NATO force model,” Breuer continued.