Lithuanian intelligence warned on Monday that Russia could attack the Baltic states with as little as 24 hours’ notice, seriously limiting NATO’s ability to respond.
Sounding the alarm in an annual threat assessment, the Lithuanian intelligence service pointed to
Moscow upgrading its military in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea last year.
And Remigius Baltrenas, head of Lithuanian Military Counter-Intelligence, said Russia’s main priority was to strengthen its capabilities towards the West.
“This is a signal to NATO to improve its decision speed,” Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis told reporters on the sidelines of the presentation of the report.
“NATO’s reaction time is not as fast as we would like it to be.”
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, annexed by the Soviet Union in the 1940s but now part of both NATO and the EU, have been increasingly nervous since Russia’s annexation of Crimea three years ago.
Moscow said in October that it had moved ballistic nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad and deployed an air missile defence system there.