VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Lithuania's president says that large numbers of NATO forces being stationed in the Baltics sends a clear signal that the alliance stands "strong and united."
Dalia Grybauskaite says that Lithuania has "never before" seen "forces of such size and integrity" deployed in one of NATO's easternmost countries close to key Russian exclave Kaliningrad.
Grybauskaite spoke Tuesday at a ceremony attended by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen to welcome a German battalion.
Germany will lead the multinational unit of more than 1,000 soldiers that will be based near Kaliningrad with a navy base and long-range missiles. NATO battle groups are also being stationed in Poland, Latvia and Estonia as part of an alliance mission as countries in the region fear a resurgent Russia.