Lithuanian General Downplays Risk of Russian Attack on NATO

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.26 - 2024 6:38 PM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Lithuanian General Downplays Risk of Russian Attack on NATO.

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General Valdemaras Rupšys, the head of Lithuania's armed forces, has expressed confidence that the risk of a Russian assault on NATO territories is "extremely low" this year or the next. This is reported by Politico.

Speaking to Lithuanian radio Žinių Radijas, Rupšys highlighted that Russian forces in the country's western military district are currently occupied with the conflict in Ukraine, posing no immediate threat to NATO.

Contrasting Rupšys's stance, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis emphasized the importance of Lithuania's readiness for defense. Landsbergis, speaking to the Baltic news outlet Delfi, expressed concerns that if Russia's aggression in Ukraine goes unchecked, the Baltic states could be its next target.

European leaders have been vocal about their apprehensions regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin's intentions beyond Ukraine. General Rupšys, however, has urged caution in interpreting military situations, suggesting that such discussions should be left to qualified individuals. He believes politicians should stay focused on their specific roles and responsibilities.

In preparation for any potential conflict, Rupšys called for swift action in establishing a versatile military brigade, equipped with infantry fighting vehicles and tanks. Following increasing security concerns, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have agreed to establish a common Baltic defense zone along their borders with Russia and Belarus.

Estonia has announced plans to construct 600 bunkers along its border with Russia, a project estimated to cost €60 million, with construction set to begin in early 2025. Latvia's defense plans are still under development, with Defense Minister Andris Sprūds indicating a decade-long timeframe for completion. Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs has called for regional cooperation, inviting Finland and Poland to join the Baltic defense zone.