NATO will respond to any attack on Poland or Baltics: Stoltenberg

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a news conference ahead of a NATO leaders summit, in Brussels, Belgium November 29, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

WARSAW (Reuters) - The NATO alliance will respond to any attack on Poland or the Baltic countries, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview published on Tuesday.

“Through the presence of NATO forces in Poland and in the Baltic countries, we are sending Russia a very strong signal: if there is an attack on Poland or the Baltic countries, the whole alliance will respond,” he said before the NATO summit.

NATO had no list of enemies but the alliance would respond when there was a need, Stoltenberg told a group of newspapers, including Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung and Spain’s El Pais.

The United States has urged Turkey to give its support to a NATO defense plan for the Baltics and Poland. Turkey has refused so far, saying NATO should give Ankara more political backing in its fight against Kurdish militia in Syria.

Stoltenberg said he did not oppose a stronger defensive stance in the European Union but said it did not make sense to try to replace NATO.

Reporting by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Edmund Blair