Steinmeier has also reportedly said that recent reports in the German media about his critical stance on NATO’s Russia policies were only “interpretations”.
“He even asked to state publicly that those interpretations by the media should not call into question Germany’s contribution to security of the Baltic countries and, specifically, Germany’s commitments…,” Linkevičius said in a phone interview from Brussels on Monday night.
The two ministers met on the sidelines of the ongoing meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers.
The German daily Bild reported last week that Steinmeier had criticized NATO for having a bellicose policy towards Russia, describing it as “warmongering”. According to the daily, Steinmeier pointed to the deployment of NATO troops near borders with Russia in the military alliance’s Baltic and Eastern European member states.
Last week, NATO defence ministers agreed to station an international Allied battalion in each of the Baltic States – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia – and Poland in an effort to deter Russia.
The countries to command the battalions will be officially announced during the Alliance’s summit in Warsaw in early July. The international battalion in Lithuania is most likely to consist of German troops.