Lithuania and Poland are planning to hold joint military exercises.
“We will step up military cooperation (with Poland). We will hold joint exercises, look for additional forms for our armed forces to train together, and strengthen military mobility,” President Gitanas Nauseda told reporters on Sunday.
Lithuania and Poland last conducted a joint military exercise in Klaipeda in early July 2023. Troops from the Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the two neighboring countries then held a critical infrastructure recapture drill in the port city.
Polish President Andrzej Duda, who visited Vilnius on Sunday, told reporters in the Lithuanian capital that the so-called Suwalki Gap is “the region that requires special attention, special monitoring”.
“We know how sensitive what we call the Suwalki Corridor is today in terms of European security,” he said.
The Suwalki Gap, also known as the Suwalki Corridor, is a land strip of around 100 kilometers on the Lithuanian-Polish border that is wedged between the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on the west and Belarus on the east.
Europe must take more responsibility
With Ukraine asking for more aid and facing growing fatigue not only in Washington but also in other Western capitals, Nauseda said he believed that Europe should take a greater role in supplying military equipment to Kyiv.
“Especially at a time when other allies lack either the political will or the capability to provide the necessary military equipment,” he told reporters.
The Lithuanian leader said he had no doubt that joint EU procurement and defense industry cooperation among member states is a path “that we can follow to achieve good results”.
Duda noted that not all EU nations feel the threat from Russia.
“Ask yourself if the Portuguese public feels a major threat from Russia? Do the Spaniards? Of course not,” the Polish president said.
“Our main goal – here and now – is to increase our potential,” he added.
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