Ever heard of the Suwalki Gap?

I doubt that you have – but many people in the Baltic States and in the Russian military are well aware that this is a short stretch of land which is the only connection between the Baltic States and the rest of the European Union. On one side is Lithuania and on the other side is Poland, but to the west is the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

As this article on the tensions with Russia explains:

“Such is the anxiety, that when Russian military personnel take the military train from Kaliningrad to Moscow, a Lithuanian air force helicopter hovers overhead to ensure that no one illegally hops off en route. Earlier this year NATO deployed four battalion-sized battle-groups to Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.Those with the darkest imaginations suggest Russia could one day choose to close the so-called Suwałki Gap, a 60-mile-long stretch of the Polish-Lithuanian border stretching from Kaliningrad to Russia’s close ally, Belarus, and cut off the Baltic states from the rest of Europe.”

I have been on a trip to the three Baltic States and I understand their anxieties.


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