Polish and Lithuanian Presidents address NATO: “pay attention to what is happening in the East”

President Duda and President Nausėda in Lithuania. Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania by Robertas Dačkus

Lithuanian and Polish special operations troops trained on Friday in Klaipėda, on the Danube River, to recover captured critical infrastructure. The exercise was watched by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda and Polish President Andrzej Duda, after which the Presidents said they would write a separate letter to NATO allies about the changed security situation in the region, Jūatė Važgauskaitė is writing at the tv3.lt news portal.

Asked about the forthcoming NATO summit in Vilnius and the letter they had decided to write to the allies, the Presidents explained the meaning of such a letter and why it was being written now.

According to Polish President Duda, it is not always possible to talk to partners in Brussels, and the NATO Summit is the perfect place to express such a letter and concerns.

“Mr Nausėda and I have decided to prepare a joint letter for the NATO Summit. <…> The preparation of that letter was prompted by the changed security conditions in our region, including Putin’s declarations on the redeployment of nuclear weapons to Belarus.

As Lithuania, Poland, and the other Baltic countries know, this is a dangerous situation, and another reason is the possible relocation of the Wagner Group, which also changes the security architecture in the region. So we have decided that we will prepare an official and joint letter at the NATO Summit. That letter will reflect our position, and then we will be able to speak more forcefully about rethinking the situation and how to deal with any change in the situation,” the Polish President said.

Nausėda echoed his sentiments, saying that the President of Latvia, who was in Vilnius a few days ago, had also joined the letter to NATO allies.

“The idea of the letter was born when President Duda and I visited Kyiv together. I think it is a very timely initiative that draws the attention of our allies to what is happening in the East, in Belarus. We are concerned about these processes. We need to look at things in a complex way, we are watching the rhetoric, we are watching the concrete actions, we are watching the creation of preconditions for the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, we are watching the migratory attacks, and all of these things in a complex way are making the situation more vulnerable, and we have to react to this by bringing the security of the region under control”, he said.

Joint exercises are much needed

Special Operations Forces (SOF) troops demonstrated the storming of an alleged enemy-held facility on the banks of the Danube, as well as different infiltration methods for approaching the facility by land, water and air.

The site was monitored from the air by an SOP UAV, which gathered intelligence to predict the safest routes of approach to the site and to identify the enemy position.

The operation started with SOP divers emerging from the Danube River and taking up positions on the quay to allow the main assault force to approach the facility safely. One part of the assault team consisted of Lithuanian and Polish combat divers, who came down the river in boats and landed on the quay. Polish and Lithuanian special forces landed on the facility’s roof from helicopters.

Polish F-16 fighter jets were deployed to assist the troops and destroy enemy armoured vehicles.

On the ground, the SOP Jaeger Cut-Off Team fought the enemy using Lithuanian Army all-terrain vehicles. Motorcycles were also used during the exercise. Medics, IED neutralisation team specialists were deployed.

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