Nato’s ‘achilles heel’: alliance conducts war games in nervous Lithuania,

[…] Since 2016, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, “enhanced forward presence” battlegroups have been stationed in four member states on Nato’s eastern flank: Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. […]

But the function of these military units remains that of a “tripwire”: a reminder to hardliners in the Kremlin that invading what they may see as renegade breakaway nations of a former Russian empire would automatically trigger a military conflict with other western European states. But in their current state, there is little doubt the enhanced forward presence units would sooner or later be overrun. […]

In keeping with the “founding act”, a political agreement signed by Nato and Russia in 1997, there are restrictions on how many western allied troops are allowed to be deployed to the Baltics, and how close they can be stationed to the border.

The enhanced forward presence in Lithuania, which is made up of seven European nations and led by Germany’s Bundeswehr, has to be rotated every six months at considerable cost and effort, with hundreds of vehicles having to be transported by road, rail or air before each changeover.

While countries such as Germany and the UK remain committed to the founding act, Lithuania and other states in the region say the document is no longer viable as a treaty. Läs artikel