NATO and the United States said on Sunday (May 15) that they were confident that Finland and Sweden’s applications to join the Western military alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would be accepted.

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto has suggested that his country will request membership in the alliance, and Sweden is expected to do so shortly, aggravating Russia.

Turkey, which had surprised its allies by raising concerns over Finnish and Swedish involvement, made its proposals on the sidelines of a foreign ministers’ meeting in Berlin on Sunday. Ankara urged that the two countries stop assisting Kurdish terrorist organisations operating on their territory and ease limits on some weaponry transfers to Turkey.

“I’m certain that we will be able to address Turkey’s concerns without delaying membership,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

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