Germany to move Patriot units from Slovakia to Lithuania for NATO summit

May 26, 2023 GMT

BERLIN (AP) — The German Defense Ministry said Friday it will transfer Patriot air defense systems from Slovakia to Lithuania as part of efforts to provide security for the NATO summit that the Baltic country will host in July.

Germany will provide land, air and sea-based assets to help secure the meeting of NATO leaders in Vilnius on July 11-12 at the alliance’s request, according to a ministry statement. It didn’t provide details, but said it will deploy units that are currently on NATO’s eastern flank or can operate from Germany.

It said that Patriot units currently in Slovakia as well as support material now in Poland will be transferred to Lithuania. That will bring an end to the deployment of German Patriot systems in Slovakia, which started shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine last year.

The Defense Ministry said Germany will continue to support NATO ally Slovakia, a neighbor of Ukraine, among other things with additional air surveillance radars and an offer of air force support in policing its airspace.