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German Troops March Into Lithuania

German Troops  March Into LithuaniaGerman Troops  March Into Lithuania

The first group of German and Belgian troops arrived in Lithuania on Tuesday, part of a NATO move to reinforce its eastern flank in a bid to deter a militarily resurgent Russia.

A group of German officers landed in the Baltic state's capital Vilnius to coordinate the deployment of a 1,200-strong battalion that will include forces from several NATO members, the German news website local.de reported. Hours earlier, some 30 Belgian troops arrived at another airport in western Lithuania while a ship carrying logistical equipment docked at the Baltic Sea port of Klaipeda, Lithuania's military spokesman captain Andrius Dilda told AFP.

Apart from the German-led battalion in Lithuania, Canada will lead a multi-national battalion in Latvia, Britain in Estonia and the US in Poland. Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite has called Berlin's decision to lead the NATO battalion a "breakthrough" toward it playing a greater role in European defense.

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