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Zelensky promises Donbass will become “Ukrainian” again, as Russian forces continue to advance

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto expressed optimism that “sooner or later Finland and Sweden will be members of NATO” and said talks with the Turkish government would continue as Ankara threatens prevent the two nations from joining the defensive alliance.

In an interview with CNN in Washington, DC on Friday, Haavisto said he expected the topic of Finland joining NATO and overcoming Turkey’s current opposition to come up again. in his conversations with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his meeting later in the day, adding he was “pretty confident” that other NATO countries had spoken with Turkey as well.

Delegations from Finland and Sweden – both of which formally applied for NATO membership last week – visited Turkey earlier this week for talks on NATO membership. All current NATO members must approve new members.

Haavisto, who did not attend the talks, called it a “good meeting” and said it lasted five hours. Haavisto said there are European and Finnish laws and policies in place that guide Finland’s actions on Turkey’s main demands – the designation of the PKK as a terrorist organization, the lifting of arms export controls. , the extradition of Kurdish militants whom Turkey considers to be terrorists. However, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said following the delegation’s visit that “if Turkey’s security concerns are not met with concrete steps, the process cannot move forward.”

Haavisto said “there was an agreement to continue those talks,” but a next round of talks has yet to be held.

“From our point of view, the timing is essential, because we are of course looking forward to the NATO summit in Madrid”, which is at the end of June, “and we hope that during the NATO summit, the new members would be welcomed, at least, and NATO’s ‘open door policy’ would be upheld, but of course it is up to each member state to influence the process as well,” he said.

Finland’s and Sweden’s decisions to apply for NATO were a major change brought about by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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