Germany is ‘very confident’ of a deal on Sweden, Finland NATO bid, says government source

But it would not be a "catastrophe" if this did not happen by next week's summit in Madrid.

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Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the move to the new building, in Brussels, Belgium on April 19, 2018. (Yves Herman / Reuters File Photo)

BERLIN — Germany is “very confident” NATO will reach an agreement with Sweden and Finland over bid for membership of the alliance but it would not be a “catastrophe” if this did not happen by the summit in Madrid next week, a German government source said.

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

Sweden and Finland applied to join the Western defense alliance last month, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But they have faced opposition from Turkey, which has accused them of supporting and harboring Kurdish militants and other groups it deems terrorists.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh.