Polish President Andrzej Duda met with his Lithuanian counterpart Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday at the mobile command point of the multinational North Eastern Division in Szypliszki in the Suwalki Gap. The rendezvous was a clear demonstration by both leaders that the area between Belarus and the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation remains secure.
Duda thanked Nauseda for making the short trip across the border from Lithuania to “this very important strategic place for the whole of NATO that is the Suwalki Gap.”
The territory is seen as vital because it is NATO’s land link between Poland, Lithuania, and the Baltic states. It is the strip of land that separates the Russian territory of Kaliningrad from Belarus. This is why it is of key importance to NATO which has to guard it.
President Duda said the presence of NATO troops makes the area secure. He pointed to the presence of Polish, Lithuanian, and foreign troops, now been backed up by NATO’s new strategic concept, strengthening the NATO and U.S. presence in the area. He also pointed to the vigilance and readiness for action of the troops stationed in the area.
The Polish president thanked Polish, Lithuanian, and U.S. troops “for being ready for service and for making sure that this land is safe,” and said that he had no doubt that vacationers arriving at this time of the year in the region would feel safe seeing NATO troops in the area.
The two presidents met the soldiers and had a meal with them in the army canteen. They then visited the part of the Suwalki Gap located in Lithuania, where they met with soldiers from the Logistics Battalion in Marijampole.