NATO and the US said on Sunday (May 15) that they were convinced that Finnish and Swedish proposals to join the Western military alliance in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would be successful.

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto indicated that his nation will request to join the alliance, and Sweden is set to do the same soon, infuriating Russia.

Turkey, which had startled its partners by expressing doubts over Finnish and Swedish participation, put out its requests on the margins of a foreign ministers’ conference in Berlin on Sunday. Ankara demanded that the two nations end their assistance for Kurdish terrorist organisations operating on their territory and relax restrictions on some arms shipments to Turkey.

“I’m convinced that we will be able to handle Turkey’s concerns in a way that does not postpone membership,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

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