Despite the fact that the likelihood of “Russian aggression” against Lithuania is extremely low, anti-Russian hysteria is preserved in the Baltic republic and preparations are underway for war, writes the American magazine National Interest.
The author of the article notes that Lithuania is worried about how the Russian army has improved in recent years and the defensive capacity of the Kaliningrad region, which borders with the republic in the northeast, has increased.
The authorities realize that the likelihood of an attack by Russia is “low”, however, some still continue to believe that Moscow regards the Baltic States as “temporarily lost territory,” RIA Novosti reports the content of the article in the American edition.
Thus, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense reported that there are 20 thousand personnel in the neighbouring Russian region, including marines. According to the republic’s defence ministry, Russia can lead a massive land strike on Lithuanian territory from the east, from the Belarusian territory, just less than 20 miles from the suburbs of Vilnius. The ministry is also preparing for the fact that for the “attack” Moscow may employ an additional 120,000 troops from the Western Military District.
The Baltic republic itself is currently capable of mobilizing only 14 thousand people in the land forces and naval forces, and four thousand of them only served military service in nine months. In addition, Lithuania places its hopes on five thousand volunteers and 1.3 thousand soldiers from Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic in the framework of the program “Enhanced Advanced NATO Presence”.
Over the past six years, the Baltic republic has tripled the military budget – it has grown to 2% of GDP. This money is directed to improving the main ground forces – the mechanized brigade and the motorized brigade.
According to the author of the article, in the event of war, Lithuania will go on the defensive in the hope of reinforcement from NATO. Now the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Transport of the Republic are working to increase the speed of admission of allied troops to the territory of the Republic: they improve the carrying capacity of the port in Klaipeda and expand the railway from Poland to the main location of the mechanized brigade. In addition, Lithuania hopes for the deployment of American troops on its territory.
Earlier, NATO published a report stating that, through the Baltic states, Russia is capable of “destroying the European security architecture.” At the same time, the risk of conflict between the alliance and Russia was assessed as low.