NATO's choke point Any effective political and military alliance must understand its weakest links and take urgent remedial action. The report will help locate gaps in NATO capabilities, preparedness, responsiveness, reinforcements, logistics, and cohesion. It will therefore serve to better inform policymakers on the significance of the Suwalki Corridor and how it can be reinforced to defend against Kremlin subversion and a potential military assault. The three Baltic countries—Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia—share a 1,kilometer land border with Russia and Belarus, but are also linked to the rest of the alliance by a narrow land corridor with Poland.

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Read more: Russia forms new division, deploys more ships and aircraft in Kaliningrad — report. Throughout the Soviet occupation, Russian trains with military and civilian freight could reach Kaliningrad.

In thes, the region became an isolated exclave ripe with social and economic problems. The only lifeline connecting it with the Russian mainland was that same railway stretching across Lithuania.

In spring , Moscow threatened to maintain its military presence in the region. Signals from the West were also worrying. But, the internal turmoil in Russia gave Lithuania an opening. Lithuania scored a diplomatic victory by outmaneuvering Russia, which tried to foster bilateral connections by engaging predominantly with Paris and Berlin. Vilnius, therefore, aimed to consolidate regional and European-wide coalitions, according to Lopata.

The simplified transit mechanism started operating on July 1, , less than a year before Lithuania joined the EU on May 1, Military transit, meanwhile, followed the so-called German rules that were used during the withdrawal of Russian military forces from Berlin.

The agreement is renewed on a yearly basis. Civilians can also get transit visas onboard the trains under a simplified procedure. Before it was through us. The contract also has to be renewed on a yearly basis. Lithuanian police forces rushed to the scene to make sure no one got off.

After initial checks, a technical fault was to blame, and the train was on the move again shortly. Packages were previously thrown through the windows, potentially for contraband, but also perhaps as a training for something else, said Lopata.

There were also cases of passengers getting off the train illegally. In March , Lithuanian law enforcement and special forces surrounded a Russian transit train that had a large number of military-aged men. That same week, Russian forces held snap-drills in parts of the country. The transit "is an element of the simulated trainings" for any potential conflict, said Lopata.

News Read more: Russia forms new division, deploys more ships and aircraft in Kaliningrad — report At the time, Lopata was one of the few so-called Kaliningrad-watchers among his peers once Lithuania formulated its ambitions to join EU and NATO in Thanks for subscribing!

Weekly newsletter every Friday. Russia announced recently it will create a division in Kaliningrad. Lithuanian civilians train for irregular warfare at the height of tensions between NATO and Russia followings the annexation of Crimea.

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Polish Corridor

While the world watched Russia's North Fleet with trepidation as it launched surprise exercises near the Arctic Circle last week, Vladimir Putin has quietly been arming another area inside Europe's borders: Kaliningrad, the Russian seaport city in a region sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, with convenient access to the Baltic Sea. Vessels from Russia's Baltic Fleet have delivered fighter jets and Iskander missile launchers to the former German city, from where missiles could reach not just to Warsaw and Vilnius but Germany as well. Sources say that, with sea transport neither quick nor easy to organise, it's clear the Russian armed forces had planned the recent delivery for some time. Indeed, the Russian army has spent the past several years equipping its Baltic territory with state-of-the-art weaponry. Regional security officials now call Kaliningrad a veritable arms depot. According to a recent report by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, a Polish security think tank, the plan features the acquisition of Iskanders along with aircraft, 1, helicopters, ships and 2, tanks.


Russia’s military corridor in Lithuania that never was

Your saved articles can be found here. Join now to start saving articles today. The ghosts of invasions, massacres and ethnic cleansing swirl around the pine forests and pleasure boats of northeastern Poland. Hitler spent more than half of the Second World War commanding operations from a huge bunker complex close to the city of Ketrzyn.


The Suwalki Corridor: Moscow’s invasion route to Europe

Mazugal Ethnic situation was one of the reasons for returning the area to the restored Poland. Taylor, Radical Historian of Europe. Crossing lines is a tricky maneuver for friendly forces. Territorial evolution of Germany Territorial changes of the Baltic states. Sign In Sign Out.



A similar territory, also occasionally referred to as a corridor, had been connected to the Polish Crown as part of Royal Prussia during the period — According to German historian Hartmut Boockmann the term "Corridor" was first used by Polish politicians, [3] while Polish historian Grzegorz Lukomski writes that the word was coined by German nationalist propaganda of the s. The equivalent German term is Polnischer Korridor. The word corridor is an artificial idea, as this land has been Polish for centuries, with a small percentage of German settlers".

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