Politicians, forced to chase Anušauskas in the corridors

Arvydas Anušauskas
Arvydas Anušauskas DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

President Gitanas Nausėda announced after a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday that it was agreed to deploy the Bundeswehr brigade in Lithuania gradually, depending on our country’s progress in developing the necessary infrastructure, Rimvydas Paleckis is writing at the lrytas.lt news portal.

The infrastructure needed to host the Brigade in Lithuania is estimated to be in place by 2026.

However, some members of the Seimas National Security and Defence Committee (NSDC) believe that the work could take much less time if the Minister of National Defence, Arvydas Anušauskas, were to attend the NSDC meetings and listen to the parliamentarians’ comments.

“He doesn’t get anywhere fast. That is why 2026 is his target year, according to his pace. We say it can be done in a year, barely half a year,” Dainius Gaižauskas, a member of the NSGK and a peasant, said on the “Opponents” programme on the “Lietuvos rytas” TV channel.

He believes in the promise and calls for getting down to business

President Nausėda, who was in Berlin last week, announced that he and German Chancellor Scholz had agreed to gradually deploy the Bundeswehr brigade in Lithuania. According to the Head of State, Berlin “expressed its willingness to observe and assess” how Lithuania is succeeding in creating the necessary conditions for equipping the brigade.

Valdas Rakutis, a conservative member of the NSGC, is also convinced that the German brigade will eventually be deployed in Lithuania. According to him, this is the position of the Germans themselves.

“I had a conversation with the Military Attaché of the German army yesterday, and there is really no such problem.

The problem is in the political debate, especially in the internal attitudes of some of the left-wing parties. There (in Germany), there are still various themes left over from a long-standing school course that Russia is the country that defeated Germany and that, therefore, Germany still feels some guilt.

There are already cultural, inertial processes here, which cannot change very quickly,” Rakutis noted.

He pointed out that now we should talk less and work more – both sides have to implement their commitments, and Lithuania has a lot of homework to do.

“I think that we should talk to the Germans how they are used to talking to us – we negotiate, agree, and it will be done. We need to be completely positive here. Sometimes we don’t get some of the intermediate solutions quite right.

We have this hope that in 2026-2027 the whole brigade will be here, but the problem remains the same: first of all, we have nowhere to put it. Secondly, that brigade is in the formation phase. We cannot speed up a process that simply takes so much time,” the Conservative explained.

The Minister is a very, very slow person

D.Gaižauskas, a member of the NSGK, said that it is precisely the time we do not have, so we have to do all the work on infrastructure faster. He threw a stone at the Minister of National Defence, A.Anušauskas, who has not bothered to attend NSGK meetings for some time.

“The last meetings in the committee, the discussions were very heated, and we did make suggestions on how to speed things up. We know why the current phase is a bit stuck because we are waiting for answers from Germany on certain decisions on what Lithuania should do.

But the improvement of infrastructure, the construction of the training ground, the construction of the military campus and so on – we have also said that the Minister of National Defence is not taking certain steps because he probably does not know, because he does not attend the meetings of the NSGC.

The Minister of National Defence should attend almost all the NSGC meetings, as he did in the last term of office,” the peasant said.

Gaižauskas said that he himself had tried to ask Anušauskas why he ignores the NSGC meetings, which deal with very important issues related to the preparation of the brigade’s infrastructure, but had never heard an answer.

He called the Minister a very slow person.

“I caught the Minister of Defence in the corridor, pressed against the wall and asked him: “What are you doing? When are you going to attend?” He is rolling his eyes, and he is a very slow, very slow man. Simply, his pair are very well made. He doesn’t rush anywhere.

That is why 2026, according to his pace, is his ambition. We say it can be done in a year, barely half a year,” said the NSGC member.

He said that the NSGC will even invite builders to its next meetings to find out which procedures are excessive in infrastructure works.

It is said behind the scenes that Anušauskas does not attend NSGK meetings because of his deteriorating relations with his fellow party members, and in particular with the NSGK chairman Laurynas Kasčiūnas.

K.Budrys: we need to focus on the implementation of the agreement

Kęstutis Budrys, the President’s Senior Adviser, agreed that the NSGK meetings have always been a hot place for discussion but that the fierce conversations have brought out the real problems.

“Here, of course, one has to understand that the NSGC is a hard place, and this was also the case in the past, during the previous term of office. For all those who are invited there, who are the objects of parliamentary scrutiny, what they have to implement is extraordinary.

But it is a very good thing that encourages highlighting the places where the process is stuck – whether because of the adoption of a decision, or some political circumstances, or because of the legal regulation,” Budrys emphasised in the “Opponents” programme on the “Lietuvos rytas” TV channel.

He reminded me that the infrastructure for the German brigade is to be ready by mid-2025, so there is not much time left.

“Regarding the text itself, the German position is consistent. What we are saying with our friends in Germany, the text remains the same as it was agreed. It is valid, and neither side is questioning it. We are working on it.

The unnecessary interpretations that are emerging here in Lithuania, that some chamber is reading differently from what the President has agreed with the Federal Chancellor, are really out of place and unnecessary. We should concentrate more on implementation”, the Presidential Adviser stressed.

However, he agreed that there is still a lack of clearer answers from the German side on some important issues.

“We are still missing a clearer answer from the German side on the scope and the timing of how they see the final implementation. But we have a consensus on how we are moving at the moment.

That is the framework within which we are working”, Budrys stated.

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