"As far as the accommodation of allies is concerned, we have 3X800, ready for a brigade-sized unit, with everything we have and with this new project, by the end of 2022, we will be able to host at least 7,000 allies," Kasciunas told BNS on Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, the CNSD and the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs held a close-door meeting and discussed Lithuania's readiness to host NATO troops in the country, as well as the establishment of a new training area for the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Rudninkai.
Last week, the government allocated 40 million euros to set up new camps for allied troops, with a total of around 2,400 troops to be accommodated in the three camps - 800 troops in each of them. The new camps will be located in Kazlu Ruda, Marijampole and Pabrade.
"This is already a very strong improvement of the host country's capabilities, a message that we have moved very strongly and are moving forward, and it is very important that representatives of different political forces back this," Kasciunas said after the committee meeting.
The Seimas is planning to adopt a special law in order to speed up the establishment of the Rudninkai training area, he said, adding that the new training area "will be fully functional in 2023".
Laima Liucija Andrikienė, the chairwoman of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs, told BNS after the committee meeting that the preparation of the infrastructure to host allied troops as "moving forward fast".
"What we heard today shows that we are moving at a really fast pace and in 4-5 weeks, qualitatively, we will have a very different situation. The works that need to be done will be done, but as the meeting is closed, I can't talk about the details," she said.
Decisions were made last year that the new military training area would be established near the village of Rudninkai, Salcininkai District, within the territory now used by the Public Security Service.
The German-led international battalion, deployed in 2017, and the US battalions that have been rotating in Pabrade for the past three years are among the largest allied NATO military units in Lithuania.
In the past few weeks, allies have sent additional forces to Lithuania in response to the deteriorating security situation in the region and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Germany and the United States are each deploying several hundred additional troops in Lithuania, while the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom have contributed smaller numbers.
There are now over 3,000 allied troops in Lithuania.