NewsHungary's Orban insists on swift NATO entry for Sweden despite diplomatic tensions

Hungary's Orban insists on swift NATO entry for Sweden despite diplomatic tensions

Viktor Orban
Viktor Orban
Images source: © Getty Images | Marcin Obara
2:29 PM EST, January 24, 2024

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"The Hungarian government supports Sweden's membership in NATO," Orban posted on the X service after a conversation with the Alliance's chief.

Sweden's application for NATO admission has been pending in the Hungarian parliament since the summer of 2022. The government representatives in Budapest argue that some members of the ruling Fidesz-KDNP coalition hold reservations due to criticism from Swedish politicians regarding the state of Hungarian democracy.

Sweden disregards invitation

Hungary has asserted over the past few months that they will not be the last NATO country to vote for Sweden's alliance accession. On Tuesday, a significant majority of the Turkish parliament ratified this proposition from the Nordic country. The decision now awaits the signature of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Tuesday, Orban extended an invitation to Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson for talks in Budapest. The aim was "to strengthen Hungarian-Swedish bilateral relations by building mutual trust".

In response, Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom stated that Stockholm "does not see any reason to negotiate with Hungary".

Now it's our turn

"Turkey ratified Sweden's accession to NATO. Now it's our turn," Hungary's President Katalin Novak posted on social media on Tuesday.

"I urge the prime ministers of Hungary and Sweden to negotiate. My position remains the same: the benefits outweigh the drawbacks when it comes to Sweden's membership," she added.

Despite increasing pressure from several NATO countries on Budapest for a swift ratification of Sweden's alliance accession, it remains unclear when the Hungarian parliament will convene to discuss this matter.

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