Bundeswehr transfers Patriots to Lithuania for NATO summit

Bundeswehr transfers Patriots to Lithuania for NATO summit

2023-05-26 20:37:09

A Patriot air defense system at Warsaw-Radom Airport in Poland.
Image: EPA

The Patriots were previously used to secure Slovakia, now they are being relocated for the NATO summit. In return, the country will receive assurances from the Ministry of Defence.

DThe Bundeswehr is helping to secure the NATO summit in Vilnius in July and is relocating Patriot air defense systems from Slovakia to Lithuania. The Patriot mission in Slovakia will therefore soon be ended, said Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) on Friday, according to a statement in Berlin. “We will continue to support Slovakia with numerous projects and a strong troop presence directly on the ground in safeguarding its security interests.” The NATO summit will take place on July 11 and 12 in Lithuania’s capital.

Slovakia’s security remains ‘key’

Slovakia borders Russia-attacked Ukraine. The Bundeswehr has been present there with the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system since March 2022. The Federal Ministry of Defense underlined that Slovakia’s security will remain “of central importance” for Germany in the future. “We will continue to make our contribution and stand close to our ally Slovakia.” This includes the ongoing ring exchange with 15 Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks. Ring exchange means that Slovakia is providing military aid to Ukraine in exchange for battle tanks from Germany.

The Ministry of Defense said Germany was helping to protect the NATO summit at the request of the alliance. The Bundeswehr will bring in land, air and sea-based security capabilities. “Units are also used for this that are either currently deployed on the eastern flank of the alliance or can operate out of Germany.” In addition to the Patriot units from Slovakia, “supporting parts” from Poland would also be relocated to Lithuania.

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