Without the permanent presence of NATO forces in the Baltic region and with the United States focused on the Pacific Ocean, only Poland could help Lithuania in case of a military threat, according to Casimir Pulaski Foundation associate and geopolitics and strategy expert Jacek Bartosiak.
However, Bartosiak said that it would be a difficult decision for Warsaw as by helping Lithuania Poland itself would become a target.
“The decision would not depend on historic relationships, it is a question of capacity and interest. Basically, however, you only have us. In the first hours of a conflict Poland would be the only country that could help either by providing their resources or keeping open communication and transportation corridors,” said Bartosiak in an international conference Enforcement and Deterrence: NATO Summit in Warsaw agenda from the Baltic states‘ perspective.
“You do not have the resources so you would have to talk with Poland. You would have to forget all the differences in letters and other things. Lithuania and Poland would have to work together,” said Bartosiak.
Without permanent NATO forces in the Baltic States, he said “land transport NATO forces could only come through Poland. Through the northern and eastern areas of Poland – a part which is between Belarus and Kaliningrad. Moreover, the conditions are very complicated. The narrow roads, forests – it would be very easy to block them in such conditions,” said Bartosiak.
“Given S-300 and S-400 antiaircraft complex and submarines in Konigsberg, at the very least it is arguable that NATO forces could reach the Baltics by sea or air,” said Bartosiak.