Lithuania: State Defence Council agrees to buy German Leopard tanks

Lithuania’s State Defence Council (VGT) has agreed to buy German-made Leopard 2 tanks for a planned new army division, Kestutis Budrys, chief national security adviser to President Gitanas Nauseda, announced, BNS reports. The council tasked the Defence Ministry to begin negotiations with German manufacturers and other countries interested in procuring the equipment. Also, the council agreed to establish a division-level artillery regiment, turn air defence and engineering battalions into regiments, and build a harbour and coastal defence service. Moreover, the council agreed to increase the number of conscripts by 2,000 every year. Nauseda asserted that defence spending should be increased through economic growth, borrowing, and taxation, Budrys added.