The Lithuanian Land Forces commander called on Monday the NATO drills that are expected to be held in the Suwalki Gap the next week, a strip of land wedged between Lithuania and Poland, Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and Belarus, a “tactical” exercise.

NATO drills will be held in the Suwalki Gap, a narrow strip of land on the border between Lithuania and Poland, for the first time and will be a largely “tactical” operation, Brig. Gen. Valdemaras Rupsys, the Lithuanian Land Forces commander, said Monday.

“This operation is held for the first time. The main task of the drills is to get ready to receive allies in Lithuania. This is solely a tactical procedure: how [the allies] will cross the border through the territory controlled by our forces, how they will move on further into Lithuania,” Rupsys said.

About 1,500 NATO troops from Lithuania, Poland, the United States and the United Kingdom, will participate in the drills scheduled for June 17-19. This operation is part of the annual training exercise Saber Strike.

The Suwalki Gap is wedged between Lithuania and Poland, Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and Belarus.

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