NATO member Lithuania wants permanent U.S. presence in country

Lithuania’s president said Wednesday he wants the United States to station troops permanently in the Baltic nation to help increase security, as Russia continues massing troops along its border with Ukraine.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told a news conference that his government will ask Washington to make the rotational U.S. force a permanent presence.

“That would be the best boost to security and deterrence that NATO could provide, not only to Lithuania but to the whole region,” Mr. Nauseda said, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Since 2019, the U.S. has regularly deployed rotating forces to Lithuania, a former Soviet republic and a NATO member since 2004. The country shares a border with Kaliningrad, a Russian province sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland.

Lithuania’s desire to permanently host U.S. military personnel predates Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest threats to Ukraine. In a 2018 interview with The Washington Times, former Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said he backed the idea to help ensure stability in the region.

“It would be better from a deterrence point of view,” Mr. Karoblis told The Times.

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