“Lithuania and Poland will hold joint military exercises in the Suwałki Gap”, said Presidents Gitanas Nauseda and Andrzej Duda. The joint Polish-Lithuanian exercises were announced during President Andrzej Duda’s visit to Vilnius, the exact time and place of the manoeuvres were not specified.
“I am very happy that the Polish President has really responded sincerely to the desire to hold joint exercises in this area called the Suwałki Gap. We are already talking about a very specific date, it could probably take place in April”, Nauseda announced in an interview with delfi.lt.
President Andrzej Duda stressed that Poland takes the defence of the Suwałki Gap very seriously and that measures have already been taken in this regard.
“We are restoring Poland’s defence capabilities precisely in the eastern part of our country. New units are being established there; we are re-establishing the capabilities of the units that were present in Bartoszyce, Grajewo and other places strengthening the Polish military presence, as well as border protection,” said the Polish president. At a press conference of the two presidents in Vilnius, Andrzej Duda said that the Gap needs special attention and special monitoring.
Lithuania and Poland last held a joint exercise in early July 2023 in Klaipeda, when special forces from both countries trained to recover critical infrastructure seized by attackers.
The Suwałki Gap is a term present in NATO terminology, denoting the Polish territory located around Suwałki, Augustów and Sejny, which at the same time connects the territory of the Baltic States with Poland and the rest of NATO countries and separates the Russian Kaliningrad Oblast and Belarus, which is an ally of Russia. Due to its location, it has been described as one of the world’s hotspots. It is less than 100 kilometres wide.