IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


10th July, 2023 Geography

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Recent NATO military exercise conducted in Lithuania.


  • The recent NATO military exercise involving a German convoy in Lithuania highlights the ongoing security concerns in Eastern Europe.
  • The exercise aimed to demonstrate NATO's commitment to countering potential threats, particularly from Russia.

NATO Military Exercise in Lithuania

  • A German convoy of 1,000 troops, tanks, drones, and armored vehicles traveled to a Lithuanian military compound in Pabrade.
  • The exercise involved integration between German and Lithuanian troops and began with reconnaissance activities.
  • It later transitioned into a simulated battle, where NATO showcased its capabilities and successfully won the exercise.

NATO's Response to a More Dangerous Russia

  • The exercise was intended to reassure Baltic nations and other countries on Europe's eastern flank about rapid reinforcement and collective defense.
  • NATO aims to counter a perceived increase in Russian aggression and its efforts to maintain influence in the region.
  • The Russian invasion of Ukraine has heightened concerns among NATO's frontline states.

Enhancing Deterrence and Defense

  • NATO is developing detailed war plans, committing troops, equipment, and financial resources not seen since the end of the Cold War.
  • The military alliance is moving towards "deterrence by denial," which includes deploying more troops along the Russian border

Plans for Troop Deployment

  • Current battle groups along the eastern flank consist of 10,232 troops.
  • Leaders at the Vilnius summit are expected to approve plans to increase troop numbers to 4,000 to 5,000 in each of the eight countries along the eastern flank.
  • The troops will have defined tasks and prepositioned equipment to enhance deterrence and rapid response capabilities.

Challenges and Long-Term Goals

  • NATO recognizes the need to reach higher levels of forces with improved readiness.
  • The alliance must exercise against its plans, acquire necessary capabilities, and ensure the commitment of larger allies.
  • The process of building up forces and reaching the desired levels will take considerable time.

Importance of Regional Defense Plans

  • Regional defense plans outline the responsibilities and equipment required for each country to defend its assigned territory.
  • NATO aims to transition from air policing to active air defense and enhance its understanding of modern equipment vulnerabilities.

Addressing Vulnerabilities and Baltic Concerns

  • Despite reassurances, Baltic nations feel vulnerable due to their size and proximity to Russia.
  • Their warnings about Russian intentions were sometimes overlooked by larger allies.
  • The passage emphasizes the urgency of integrating Ukraine into NATO to ensure regional stability and security.

About Lithuania

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  • Lithuania is a country located in Northern Europe, bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and the Baltic Sea to the west.
  • It is the southernmost of the Baltic states and has a rich historical and cultural heritage.

Geography and Natural Features

  • Lithuania covers an area of approximately 65,300 square kilometers and has a diverse landscape.
  • The country is characterized by low-lying plains, forests, and numerous lakes, with the Nemunas River being the longest.
  • The Curonian Spit, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a unique sand dune formation along the Baltic Sea coast.

History and Independence

  • Lithuania has a long history, dating back to the medieval period when it was the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, one of the largest and most powerful states in Europe.
  • The country experienced periods of foreign domination, including rule by Poland, Sweden, and the Russian Empire.
  • Lithuania declared independence in 1918, becoming one of the first countries to break away from the Soviet Union in 1990.

Culture and Language

  • The Lithuanian language, one of the oldest surviving Indo-European languages, is the official language of the country.
  • Lithuania has a vibrant cultural scene, with traditional folklore, music, dance, and art playing an essential role in preserving national identity.
  • The capital city, Vilnius, is known for its UNESCO-listed Old Town and diverse architectural styles.

Economy and European Union Membership

  • Lithuania has a mixed-market economy with a strong focus on manufacturing, services, and high technology sectors.
  • The country experienced significant economic growth following its accession to the European Union in 2004.
  • Lithuania adopted the Euro as its currency in 2015.

Education and Innovation

  • Lithuania has a well-developed education system, with a high literacy rate and a strong emphasis on science and technology education.
  • The country is known for its achievements in the fields of information technology and innovation.
  • Vilnius and Kaunas are major centers for research and technology development.

Membership in International Organizations

  • Lithuania is a member of various international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, and the Council of Europe.
  • The country actively participates in regional cooperation initiatives, such as the Baltic Assembly and the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8).

Tourism and Cultural Heritage

  • Lithuania attracts tourists with its rich historical and cultural heritage, including well-preserved castles, old towns, and traditional festivals.
  • The Curonian Spit, Trakai Castle, and Hill of Crosses are among the popular tourist destinations.
  • The country is known for its natural beauty, national parks, and outdoor recreational activities


Q) Consider the following statements regarding Lithuania:

  1. Lithuania is the northernmost Baltic state.
  2. Lithuanian is a Slavic language.

Select the correct statement using the codes below:

(a)    1 only

(b)    2 only

(c)     Both 1 and 2

(d)    Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A