Lithuanian and Polish officers conducted a staff exercise in the Lithuanian town of Alytus from July 1 through July 3. A follow-up exercise is scheduled to be held in the Polish town of Orzysz, Suwalki district, near the mutual border. The exercises form part of the process of creating the joint Lithuanian-Polish battalion, LITPOLBAT, a 750-strong unit due to become operational by January 2, 1999. (PAP, BNS, July 3 and 4)
Creation of this unit underscores Poland’s emergent role of linchpin in regional security arrangements. As a country invited to join NATO, Poland is forming joint military units with its eastern neighbors Lithuania and Ukraine, two countries not eligible to join the Western alliance at the present stage.
YASTRZHEMBSKY URGES RUSSIAN REGIONS TO SNUB LATVIA.