US battalion was deployed to Lithuania on a permanent basis
The presence of American troops in Lithuania is virtually permanent, said Curtis Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO.
“We have forces here here 365 days a year. I want some flexibility on that, so it may not be [permanent deployment] but it will be nearly that if not that because of the forces we have,” Scaparrotti told reporters on Thursday.
He noted that the rotation of the US battalion in Lithuania would take place in June and July, and the division would take part in the “Saber Strike” exercises. Scaparrotti added that another US battalion will rotate in the Baltic states in September.
During this time, Belarus and Russia will carry out the “Zapad 2017” exercise.
Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Chief of Defense Jonas Vytautas Žukas said at the press conference that the geopolitical situation in Europe remains tense, “while the big neighbor continues rattling sabers”.
“During the meeting, I expressed an expectation to see US troops in Lithuania both before the Russian training Zapad 2017 and after it,” the Lieutenant General said.