Lithuania wants NATO to be ready for possible cut-off of Suwalki gap – president

  • 2022-03-24
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania wants NATO to be ready to defend the so-called "Suwalki gap" and be prepared for a possible cut-off of the corridor, President Gitanas Nauseda said on Thursday. 

The Suwalki gap 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.  In a military conflict, the seizure of the land corridor would cut off the land route for NATO allies to the Baltic countries. 

"We want the Suwalki gap to be defended from both sides. We want [NATO] to be properly prepared for a possible cut-off of the Suwalki gap from both sides," Nauseda told reporters on his arrival for the Alliance's summit in Brussels. 

"That is why we are talking about additional training grounds, about additional money that we will spend on infrastructure so that we can effectively host much more troops and, most importantly, military equipment," he added.

According to the president, Lithuania primarily needs air defense equipment, which would allow it to form an "air defense umbrella".

In response to Russia's war on Ukraine, Lithuania earlier in March increased its defense spending by almost 300 million euros, with the additional funds to be used to set up new camps for allied troops and buy new equipment.