And in related news.
The Turkish government has done away with its objection to applications by Finland and Sweden for NATO membership paving the path for the two countries to join the western military alliance.
The three countries signed a memorandum of understanding late Tuesday in Madrid.
Following the ceremony NATO's Secretary-General claimed the alliance can always find common ground to bridge differences among its members.
Pundits say this latest development is a tangible blow to Russia's efforts to stem NATO's expansion.