NATO approves Baltic, Poland defence plan after Turkey drops veto

NATO approved a new defence plan for Poland and the Baltic states on Tuesday after Turkey dropped its veto against it, AFP reported.

NATO leaders agreed to the plan at a summit in December but Ankara had stopped it from being enacted over its demand to receive more support in its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its affiliated groups in Syria – such as the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

"The issue has been resolved and the plans are approved," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told AFP.

"Turkey acted constructively, strongly defending its interests as it always does, and its actions were never directed against the Baltic states. We should not dramatise it, the result is positive and we welcome it," he said.

Ankara had used its veto because it had wanted the alliance to recognise the YPG as a terrorist organisation, a demand left unfulfilled by NATO.

NATO defence plans are classified but Lithuanian officials have said they were seeking stronger air defences and swifter deployment of allied forces in case of crisis, most likely with Russia.