Lithuania Seeks Leopard Tanks Amid Security Concerns

Lithuania said on Tuesday it would seek to buy one battalion of German-made Leopard 2 tanks as the Baltic state bolsters its defenses amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

The NATO member and staunch Kyiv ally, which neighbors the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad as well as Moscow ally Belarus, has expressed concern over its security since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly two years ago.

“The state security council agreed that the most effective tank… is the German Leopard 2,” Lithuanian presidential security advisor Kestutis Budrys told reporters.

He said the defense ministry had been tasked to start negotiations for a battalion of tanks.

Typically such units consist of several dozen tanks, but officials refused to specify the quantity and price.

Budrys said last year that in total, the tanks could cost about two billion euros ($2.2 billion).

The project is the latest example of increasing ties between Vilnius and Berlin.

Germany plans to station a brigade –- around 5,000 soldiers and civil personnel –- in Lithuania until 2027.

Vilnius has also bought other military equipment from Germany, including Boxer infantry fighting vehicles and self-propelled 155 mm howitzers.

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