Turkey has acknowledged “progress” for Sweden and Finland with a view to both countries joining NATO.

In a statement published in Stockholm on Friday, the three countries congratulated each other "for intensifying cooperation (...) and the progress made by Finland and Sweden in complying with the memorandum".

The latter was signed in June on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.

"Sweden has fully respected the trilateral memorandum and is moving closer to NATO," Swedish negotiator Oscar Stenstrom said after the meeting in Stockholm announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this month.

Approval from Hungary and Turkey is pending

After the Russian attack on Ukraine, Sweden and Finland broke with their decades-long tradition of military alliance neutrality and applied for NATO membership in May.

Each of the 30 NATO member countries must ratify accession.

Only Hungary and Turkey have yet to agree.

Turkey has threatened to block NATO accession if the two countries do not respond to Ankara's demands.

Ankara accuses Sweden in particular of being a haven for “terrorists” with regard to members of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

During a visit to Ankara in early November, Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson promised to respond to Turkish demands.

In mid-November, the Swedish parliament voted to amend the constitution to allow anti-terror laws to be tightened.

The change will take effect on January 1st.