Germany's Scholz, Baltic PMs meet in Rīga

Germany is ready to help defend the Baltic States in the event of possible Russian military aggression, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced in Riga on Monday, May 6 .

He met Latvian Prime Minister Evika Siliņa (New Unity), Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonyte. During their meeting, the three Baltic heads of government discussed security, defense and support for Ukraine with Scholz.

Scholz said that Germany's commitment to protect the Baltics was demonstrated by the Bundeswehr ground troops deployed in Lithuania and German Air Force fighter patrols in the Baltic airspace.

"This shows the commitment of Germany and NATO to defend the territory of the Alliance against any aggression. Our troops make an important contribution to this process because the security of our Baltic allies is also our security.

"Germany is determined to defend every square centimeter of its allies' territory, and I would stress that here too. An attack on you would also be an attack on all of us, and that must not happen. That is why we have taken many far-reaching decisions and conclusions," Scholz said.

In the press conference, when asked about Germany's support for Ukraine and specifically about sending Taurus long-range missiles, Scholz said:

"It is important for us that we all act together to support [Ukraine]. That is why we have expanded munitions production and we are working in Germany to increase capacity. [..] It is important for us to speak clearly about the need to help Ukraine and not to think about economic development in Europe," said the German Chancellor.  

The Latvian Prime Minister Evika Siliņa said in the conference: "It is extremely important for our military industry to strengthen not only our support for Ukraine, which is now the first priority, but of course we also need to strengthen the Common European Security Space and strengthen ourselves.

"Because Latvia and, I believe, the Baltic States have given away quite a lot of their military capability, beyond their capabilities, one could almost say, to Ukraine. And it is clear that we have to think how we can fill our own warehouses and strengthen ourselves, and in Europe as a whole take our defense capabilities to another level," said Siliņa.

Before his visit to Riga, Scholz visited German troops based in Lithuania and confirmed there too that Germany is unwaveringly ready to defend Baltic security.

Scholz was in Lithuania at a time when Germany is preparing to permanently deploy a Bundeswehr brigade of around 4,800 troops to support Lithuania's security.

This is the first time post-war Germany has permanently deployed troops outside its borders. German troops are expected to start arriving in Lithuania next year.

More recently, Germany has provided Ukraine with new air defense systems and continues to supply other necessary weapons. However, it remains opposed to the delivery of long-range Taurus missiles to Kiyv. Chancellor Scholz pointed out that this would require the involvement of German troops, which would be German involvement in the war with Russia.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles


Most important