Putin dealt NATO hammer blow as Germany ‘confirms’ Sweden and Finland WILL join

Russia's 'bluff being called' with expansion of NATO says expert

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A German Government source has told Reuters the country is “very confident” NATO will successfully reach an agreement with Sweden and Finland over their bid for membership. However, the move may not be completed in time for the NATO Summit in Madrid, which begins next Tuesday (June 28). 

The source said: “As nice as it would be to announce concrete steps, it would not be a catastrophe if it needed a few weeks. What is decisive from our point of view is there are no unsurmountable problems.”

Sweden and Finland applied to join the Western defence alliance last month, as Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine intensifies.

But the move has faced strong opposition from Turkey, which has accused them of supporting and harbouring Kurdish militants and other groups it deems terrorists.

On Sunday, Turkish officials travelled to Brussels to discuss the country’s concerns regarding Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership bids.

Last month, Turkey gave both countries written demands to address its concerns.

But last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the letters from NATO and Stockholm in response were “far from meeting our expectations”.

Mr Cavusoglu told a news conference in Zagreb on Friday that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, who is also his chief foreign policy adviser, and Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal would travel to the Belgian capital for talks.

He said: “They (NATO) sent a document, one that could be signed in a trilateral way.

“We found these documents insufficient and sent our own document in response.

“We said ‘negotiations can continue through this’.”

Mr Cavusoglu added: “Onal and presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin will travel to Brussels on Sunday night and they will carry out work with NATO on this document, but we remind NATO and all parties of our determination on this issue.”

NATO leaders are meeting in Madrid next week to further discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the Nordic bids to join the defence alliance.

Turkey has insisted it does not see the summit as a deadline, and progress will only be made once its concerns are addressed.

For any new members to join NATO, it requires the unanimous approval from all 30 members of the alliance.

Turkey has been a NATO ally for more than 70 years and boasts its second biggest army.

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