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German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht speaks to troops as she visits Rukla military base, Lithuania,  December 19. — Reuters

RUKLA: German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht on Sunday said Russia cannot “dictate” to Nato on regional security, as tensions soar between Moscow and Western capitals over the conflict in Ukraine.

She spoke during a visit to Lithuania, which along with its Baltic neighbours Estonia and Latvia is worried about security after Russia deployed tens of thousands of troops near its border with fellow ex-Soviet Ukraine.

“We have to resolve the tense situation we are in now both diplomatically and with credible deterrence,” Lambrecht told reporters.

“We have to talk with each other, which means discussing the proposals that Russia has put forward. That is right and important,” she added at Lithuania’s Rukla military base.

“But it cannot be that Russia dictates to Nato partners how they position themselves.” The trip is Lambrecht’s first since being named defence minister, after new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats formed a coalition government with the Greens and the liberal FDP earlier this month.

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