ANKARA – Turkey has refused to support NATO’s defense plan for Baltic and Polish countries, alliance sources said, quoted by the Reuters news agency.
NATO sources quoted by Reuters reported that Turkey does not support the alliance’s plan to “defend” the Baltic and Polish countries against Russia. As a result, the Turkish authorities have ordered their NATO representative to maintain a firm foothold in private meetings and hearings demanding that the military bloc officially recognize Kurdish forces as terrorists .
“They (the Turks) are taking eastern Europeans hostage, blocking approval of this military planning until they get concessions,” one of the diplomatic sources told Reuters.
A second source called Turkey’s behavior “disruptive” as NATO tries to show it is united after U.S. President Donald Trump voiced scepticism about the alliance and French President Emmanuel Macron suggested it was experiencing “brain death”.
Asked about the issue, NATO’s spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said: “NATO has plans for defending all allies. NATO’s commitment to the safety and security of all allies is unwavering.”
Turkey began its offensive in northern Syria after the United States pulled 1,000 troops out of the area last month. Ankara’s NATO allies fear the incursion will undermine the battle against Islamic State militants.
Statements about an alleged Russian threat are often announced by Western politicians, and more often by countries in the Baltic region and Poland. With this, Moscow has repeatedly stressed that Russia has no intention of attacking any of the NATO countries.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, NATO is well aware that Russia has no plans to attack, but uses this alleged threat as a reason to install more military equipment near Russia’s borders.
In July 2016, during the NATO meeting in Warsaw (Poland), the decision was made to deploy an international NATO battalion in each country in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. The United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the US have taken over battalion formation.