11:52 Apr. 29, 2016
Getmany steps up its support of NATO initiative
Germany may send troops to Lithuania to reassure NATO's Eastern European allies, according to media reports. But Berlin is also wary of provoking Russia with a stronger military presence.
The German Defense Ministry has signalled its readiness to step up its support of the military alliance as part a rotating deterrent force against Russia.
The decision was confirmed by news agency DPA on Thursday evening following reports that by the news magazine Der Spiegel and the Munich-based daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Russia's interference in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea has aroused concern among the tiny Baltic States and Poland over Moscow's intentions and aggressive behavior.
In response to requests from those member states, NATO is expected at a July summit in Warsaw to finalize the details of the alliance's plan to strengthen combat capability and readiness in eastern Europe.
The agreement could see Germany deploy a rotating company contingent of between 150 and 250 soldiers to Lithuania to lead a broader alliance force of some 1,000 rotating troops.