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Turkey drops opposition to Finland, Sweden joining NATO

Video shared on June 27 shows the aftermath of a deadly Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine. (Video: AP)
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MADRID — Turkey has agreed to support Finland’s and Sweden’s membership in NATO, paving the way for the alliance to grow. The leaders of the three countries signed a memorandum Tuesday at a NATO summit in Madrid confirming Turkey’s support for the membership bids by Helsinki and Stockholm. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed Finland and Sweden to seek to join the alliance.

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Leaders from the Group of Seven wealthiest democracies ended their summit in Germany promising to “urgently” explore price caps on Russian oil and gas. They did not, however, impose new energy sanctions. In closing remarks, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Russian President Vladimir Putin “must not win the war.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again urged the United States to name Moscow a state sponsor of terrorism — a designation that would trigger significant penalties — after a Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in the central city of Kremenchuk killed at least 18 people. In a Tuesday speech to the U.N. Security Council meeting, Zelensky said Russia should be stripped of its seat on the council and a tribunal should be established to investigate Moscow’s “daily terrorist acts.”

Here’s what to know:

  • Closed-circuit TV footage from a park in central Ukraine shows the moment a Russian missile struck a nearby shopping mall on Monday, killing at least 18 people.
  • President Biden on Tuesday announced new military commitments in Europe, pledging to order two additional destroyers to Naval Station Rota in Spain.
  • The United States is moving forward to impose a broad swath of sanctions on hundreds of Russian officers and Russian Federation entities, in the Biden administration’s latest move to hold the Kremlin accountable for its invasion of Ukraine.
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One of three foreign fighters sentenced to death in a Moscow-backed court last month has appealed the decision and is asking for a lifetime prison sentence instead, Russian state media reported Tuesday. The man, 48-year-old British citizen Shaun Pinner, was charged with acting as a foreign mercenary at a tribunal in the Donetsk People’s Republic, a separatist region of eastern Ukraine. Another Briton and a Moroccan man were accused of the same offense and also sentenced to death by firing squad. It is unclear whether they have filed an appeal, and less than two weeks remain for them to do so.The proceeding and swift death sentence appalled international human rights monitors, who criticized it as a show trial. Pinner’s family has said that he lived in Ukraine for four years before the Russian invasion and was enlisted in the country’s military. They said he should be considered a prisoner of war and afforded protections guaranteed under the Geneva Conventions.
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