From the Black Sea to the Baltic – more troops are needed
During a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Baltic leaders agreed NATO's eastern flank needed a stronger troop presence.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins, and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda were in Berlin as European leaders and their US counterparts hoped to prevent Russia from increasing hostilities with Ukraine.
Due to Moscow's military buildup on Ukraine's borders, the three Baltic presidents wanted to persuade Germany to play a larger role in Baltic security arrangements.
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Scholz warned Russia that an invasion of Ukraine would have "severe" economic, political, and geopolitical ramifications. The German Chancellor has also called for a de-escalation.
Scholz told reporters at the meeting, "What is at stake right now is nothing less than averting a European war. We desire peace."
Scholz stated after the meetings, "Russia should not underestimate our unity and commitment as a partner in the EU and an ally in NATO."
Germany has stated that it will increase its military presence in Lithuania as part of NATO's expanded forward presence in the Baltics.
Denmark, a NATO ally and Nordic-Baltic country, also stated on Thursday that it is willing to host US soldiers on its land as part of a new bilateral defense deal with the US.
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Because of its Baltic coastline, Denmark was on the frontlines of the Cold War.
Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark, stated that her country's willingness to host a US army presence was not motivated by Russia's military buildup on Ukraine's borders.