Eight Abrams tanks and 21 American battalion’s Bradley infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) have arrived in Lithuania. Several dozen more tanks will be delivered there in the coming weeks, interfax reports.
“First of all, it is news for Lithuania and our neighboring NATO countries that we are the countries that in case of crisis will be protected as part of NATO, that allies are with us,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis told the BNS agency.
This is not the first visit of the American military to Lithuania. After the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and until the autumn of 2017, each of the Baltic States had a company of American military personnel deployed there. Then they were taken away, as international NATO battalions were deployed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Now the U.S. military equipment has arrived in Lithuania from Poland.
“This is also a message for Russia that the United States is involved. This is an additional deterrent factor,” added Karoblis.
More than half a thousand American soldiers will live in the area of the Lithuanian military training ground in Pabrad, 15 km from the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.
The U.S. battalion will be there until spring 2020, reports the Lithuanian Defense Ministry.