German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht took office earlier this month and is visiting German troops on her first visit to Lithuania. The visit comes at a time when Russia presented a list of demands to NATO.
Russia has been amassing troops near the Ukraine border for months. Earlier this week, Russia’s foreign ministry presented a list to NATO demanding that the alliance reduce its influence on post-Soviet states.
On Sunday, the Defense Minister stated that NATO would discuss Russia’s proposals for the alliance’s military affairs on its eastern border. Still, it will not permit Moscow to “dictate” its security affairs.
Lambrecht said, “We have to talk to each other, which means discussing the proposals that Russia has put forward, but it cannot be that Russia dictates to NATO partners how they position themselves.”
Lambrecht also added, “We need to solve the current tensions on the diplomatic level but just as well by putting up a credible deterrence.”
Lithuania’s Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas, speaking alongside Lambrecht, said that NATO must resist Moscow’s effort to divide Europe into spheres of influence again, stating, “We need to support Ukraine with all means, which includes the delivery of lethal weapons.”
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has also called for harsher sanctions against Russia over its troop deployment on the Ukrainian border, saying those responsible for any aggression must face “personal consequences,” adding, “We have to exhaust all the diplomatic and economic sanction possibilities. And all further steps should be agreed with our allies.”
Lambrecht became the new defence minister of Germany this month under the new government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Based on reports from RFERL, AFP, DPA, DW and Reuters.