The end of the Cold War almost 30 years ago gave Germany and Lithuania the chance to reshape their bilateral relations. These relations have been growing deeper ever since and the two countries now share close political, cultural and economic ties. Germany is the third-largest foreign investor in Lithuania, which is a popular location for German companies, and the new Lithuanian government has incorporated the country’s close cooperation with Germany into its programme.
Security and resilience
One central pillar of the two countries’ cooperation is security policy. The Federal Armed Forces are currently leading the NATO battlegroup in Lithuania with a German contingent of around 600 soldiers. This is part of Operation Enhanced Forward Presence, which aims to defend NATO’s eastern flank and show an increased presence in the region. Foreign Minister Maas and his Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis will also discuss the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in the coming week – the first such meeting with new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. One important item on the agenda will be the strategic process NATO 2030, which was initiated by Germany. The Federal Government is seeking to strengthen NATO and ensure it is well equipped to face the security policy challenges of the future, with rapid changes in the geopolitical and security policy landscape demanding a fast and cohesive response from the alliance as a whole.
A second priority of Germany’s cooperation with Lithuania is the resilience initiative. Since 2016, Germany has been working with the Baltic states to tackle targeted disinformation campaigns by third parties. Germany and its partners aim to counteract the deliberate spread of false information via transparent, facts-based communication with partners from the media and civil society. The need for this intensive strategic communication has grown steadily in recent times, which is why the issue is so important to Germany and its Baltic partners.