The international operation in the framework of the exercise "Iron Wolf 2017" (Gelezinis Vilkas 2017) in Suvalki corridor was conducted for the first time. The exercises were held for two days, they involved about a thousand Lithuanian, Polish, American and British troops, with the support of the RAF and the US air force.
"Corridor" - the border width of 104 km is of strategic importance as in the West and the East, he "rests", respectively, in the Kaliningrad oblast and Belarus. In the case of seizure of the corridor, the Baltic countries will be cut off from the rest of Europe.
"The corridor is vulnerable because of geography. Of course, we cannot say that an attack is imminent, but... If it is cut off, the three allies in the North would be potentially isolated from the rest of the Alliance", - told Reuters a US army General Ben Hodges. While NATO officials believe that in large joint Russian-Belarusian exercises "West" in September will be played the scenario in Suvalki corridor. It is expected that the exercise will involve 100 000 troops.
EurActiv notes that Russia denies the existence of plans to seize the Baltic States and argues that stability in Eastern Europe threatens NATO.