During his work trip to Berlin on June 22, Vice Minister of National Defence Vilius Semeška met with Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defence Thomas Hitschler to discuss both countries’ infrastructure projects in Lithuania and further improvement of service conditions for allied forces. Solutions for Host Nation Support infrastructure development are sought urgently as a result of the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the subsequent significant increase in allied troops in the eastern flank of NATO.
“We have always viewed Host Nation Support and provision of appropriate service conditions for Allies as a priority. We are prepared to provide every kind of support necessary and to make project investments. Today, as we seek a long-term presence of the German-led NATO battalion in Lithuania, as well as its development, we are discussing ways to speed the projects we had initiated earlier,” said V. Semeška.
According to Vice Minister, the continuous presence of Germany and other NATO Allies in Lithuania is the key security guarantor, and Germany’s investments in long-term projects demonstrate its resolve to stay as long as necessary for the security of our country.
Three major projects developed at Rukla and possibilities for acceleration were in the focus at the meeting: stationary logistical and maintenance platform, joint infrastructure project “Neris Terraces” of the NATO Battalion and the Lithuanian Armed Forces, an a project for munitions storehouses.
The projects launched back in 2020 will provide new infrastructure for the military personnel serving with the NATO Battalion and the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
The “Neris Terraces” project will result in new barracks, headquarters, mess hall, sports facility. The project is also planned to cover training, medical, leisure facilities, as well as a logistical area with warehouses, maintenance shops and other infrastructure for the Lithuanian military.
Another project developed at Rukla, a stationary logistical and support infrastructure for the equipment and gear, repair and storing of the NATO enhance Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group, is almost fully funded by the Federal Ministry of Defence of Germany.
With regard to the resulting increase in project value, Vice Minister and Parliamentary State Secretary discussed possibilities for increasing financing.
All the planned infrastructure is expected to be developed and handed over to users in stages in 2025-2027, with access to full scope use scheduled in 2027.
While in Berlin, Vice Minister V. Semeška will also meet with State Secretary Margaretha Sudhof and State Secretary Benedikt Zimmer, and visit the ILA 2022 international exhibition.