As things stand now, NATO would be unable to protect the Baltics against a Russian attack, the commander of US ground forces in Europe, General Ben Hodges, said in a news report on Wednesday.

To read this article, try a €5.99 monthly subscription by clicking here.
© Scanpix

Russia's military could overrun the Baltic states before the NATO alliance could respond, according to Lt. Gen. Hodges.

"Russia could capture the Baltic states quicker than we could get there to defend them," he was quoted as saying by German weekly Die Zeit.

The general said he agreed with an assessment by military analysts that says Russian forces could conquer the capitals of Baltic states Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia within 36 to 60 hours.

Hodges also said NATO forces had found numerous deficiencies during the recent "Anaconda" military exercise in Poland, according to the article from Thursday's edition of Die Zeit quoted by AFP.

Heavy military equipment could not be moved fast enough from western to eastern Europe, he said, while also voicing concern about the alliance's communication technology.

Ben Hodges
Ben Hodges
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"Neither radio communication nor email are secure," he was quoted as saying. "I assume that everything I write on my BlackBerry is being monitored."

NATO member states are due to meet in Warsaw in July to discuss Russia's assertiveness, among other issues. NATO announced last week that it would deploy four battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Russia has criticized the ongoing exercise in Poland, saying that the presence of the alliance's troops close to its borders is a threat to its security.

U.S. Ambassador: NATO is stronger with Lithuania, and Lithuania is stronger as a part of the Alliance

Over the past year, Lithuania has marked historic anniversaries that have brought into focus both how...

Lithuania reports rise in cyber attacks of high and medium importance

The number of cyber incidents of high and medium importance in Lithuania increased by 40 percent last...

Ministry to spend around 142 million euro on tactical vehicles

The Ministry of National Defence (KAM) has presented the US government an application for purchasing...

Lithuanian army acquires Javelin anti-tank missiles for 20 mln USD

The Lithuanian Army has acquired U.S.-made Javelin anti-tank missiles worth 20 million U.S....

Lithuania, Poland to sign new deals on defense cooperation

New Lithuanian-Polish agreements on defense will be signed during Lithuanian president Dalia...