Foreign minister: I have no doubt about Turkey's commitment to NATO

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) Source: ERR

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has stressed that NATO's defense plan for Estonia is functioning and in place.

"I emphasize that NATO has plans for the defense of all alliance countries, including ... Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. So, there is a plan in place to protect us, and it is working. There is no one in our region today, including Turkey, who doubts this in any way," Reinsalu told ERR.

"Reviewing and updating defense plans is an ongoing process, and work continues. Sometimes diplomatic talks are intertwined. Work is under way to find solutions, this involves NATO as a whole, and we are interested in finding a quick solution. No vetoes have been used at this time, and it takes time to reach decisions," the foreign minister added.

"I stress that this is in no way a matter of Turkey's versus our different perceptions of the security picture of the region," Reinsalu continued.

Reinsalu noted he recently met with his Turkish opposite number in Tallinn, adding he has also discussed security issues with him on the phone.

"I have no doubt about Turkey's commitment to NATO, including our region's common defense," Reinsalu said.

Luik: There's no cause for concern

Defense Minister Jüri Luik (Isamaa) also confirmed that valid defense plans exist, and there is no reason for concern.

"NATO's defense plans are being updated. This is regular, frequent activity. There are all sorts of disputes and discussions, but these have nothing to do with Turkey's opposition to the Baltic States and Poland," Luik said.

"All discussions within NATO end up with some sort of compromise. This compromise is generally made between all member states, and of course I hope we can get to that," Luik said.

As reported on ERR News, Turkey reportedly said that it would not support defense plans for the Baltic States and Poland without support in its counter-terrorist conflict with Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

Reform MP and former Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) commander Ants Laaneots said Wednesday that Turkey's NATO stance amounted to blackmail.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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