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Finland and Sweden set to join Nato after Turkey drops objections
28 June 2022, 21:54 | Updated: 29 June 2022, 00:13
The leaders of Turkey, Sweden and Finland have signed a trilateral agreement that will clear the way for the two Nordic states to join NATO and clears objections from Istanbul over the application.
Announcing the deal following talks in Spain NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: "Turkey, Finland and Sweden have signed a memorandum that addresses Turkey's concerns, including around arms exports and the fight against terrorism."
The deal is a blow for Vladimir Putin who, according to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, is getting more "NATO on his doorstep".
Sauli Niinisto, president of Finland, said: "We had a thorough meeting with president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and prime minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson, facilitated by secretary general of NATO Jens Stoltenberg.
"As a result of that meeting, our foreign ministers signed a trilateral memorandum which confirms that Turkey will at the Madrid summit this week support the invitation of Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO."
Turkish President Recep Erdogan had been poised to block Helsinki and Stockholm’s applications to accede to the 30-member state over their stance on Kurdish rebel groups Turkey considers terrorists.
The two countries, who both share borders with Russia, abandoned decades of exile from the coalition after the Kremlin invaded Ukraine.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted from the Spanish capital: “Fantastic news as we kick off the NATO Summit.
“Sweden and Finland's membership will make our brilliant alliance stronger and safer.”