Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has assured NATO allies in the Baltics of Germany’s military reliability in deterring Russia. “Germany is taking responsibility. And Germany is taking a leadership role,” said the SPD politician at the security conference in the Estonian capital Tallinn.

At the same time, Pistorius assured Ukraine of long-term support in defending itself against the Russian attackers. “We will stand by them for as long as it takes,” he said. He warned of terrible consequences if Russian President Vladimir Putin were successful with his actions. He despises international rules. “Putin is using vile, criminal and inhumane methods,” Pistorius said.

He confirmed plans to station a Bundeswehr brigade in Lithuania. Plans – the details are to be worked out by the end of the year – envisage permanently stationing 4,000 men and women from the Bundeswehr in the country, including with families or children. “We will station German soldiers in Lithuania as soon as the necessary infrastructure is in place,” said Pistorius.

Representatives of the Baltic republics as well as other NATO states and Ukraine take part in the meeting (“Annual Baltic Conference on Defense/ABCD”). The minister’s speech also marks the end of his three-day visit to Latvia and Estonia.