Hungary’s Parliament Approves Sweden’s NATO Membership Bid

Benjamin Lee
Benjamin Lee
3 Min Read

In a significant move, Hungary’s parliament has given the green light for Sweden to join NATO, clearing the final hurdle for the Nordic nation’s membership in the defense alliance. Sweden‘s application for NATO membership was prompted by Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Every NATO member must endorse a new entrant, and Hungary had previously delayed its approval, citing perceived hostility from Sweden. However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban recently expressed solidarity with Sweden, stating that the two countries were now ready to stand by each other even at the cost of their lives.

Under NATO’s principles, all members are expected to come to the aid of an ally under attack. Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson hailed the parliamentary vote as a “historic day,” marking a significant departure from Sweden’s 200 years of neutrality. He emphasized that joining NATO would enhance Sweden’s defense capabilities and protect its values.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Hungary’s decision, stating that it would strengthen the alliance and contribute to its collective security.

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Hungary's Parliament Approves Sweden's NATO Membership Bid

The approval by the Hungarian parliament must now be signed by the president, after which a formal invitation will be extended to Sweden to join the 31-member group. This process typically takes a few days.

Hungarian Prime Minister Orban, known for his nationalist stance and close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, had previously blocked EU efforts to provide military assistance to Ukraine. Despite accusations of backsliding on democratic principles from some EU countries, Orban announced his support for Sweden’s NATO membership during talks with Prime Minister Kristersson.

Monday’s vote in the Hungarian parliament was overwhelmingly in favor of Sweden’s NATO bid, with 188 MPs voting in favor and only 6 against. Orban, in his address, criticized unnamed NATO allies for pressuring Hungary to expedite the decision, asserting Hungary’s sovereignty in making such decisions independently.

Turkey, another NATO member, had previously withheld its approval of Sweden’s application due to a disagreement over Sweden’s alleged support for Kurdish separatists. However, Turkey lifted its veto in January.

Sweden and its neighbor Finland, both traditionally neutral in military matters, declared their intention to join NATO in May 2022. Finland officially became a NATO member in April of the following year, thereby extending NATO’s border with Russia.

Contrary to Russian expectations, the addition of Sweden and Finland has bolstered NATO’s expansion and strengthened Western solidarity in response to Russia’s actions.

Source: BBC

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I'm Benjamin Lee, a music enthusiast, tech geek, and avid traveler. Music pulses through my veins, igniting my soul with every beat. As a tech geek, I thrive on the latest innovations, diving deep into the digital realm to explore endless possibilities. But my spirit truly soars when I'm on the road, embarking on adventures to far-flung destinations, soaking in the sights and sounds of new cultures. Whether I'm grooving to the rhythm, tinkering with gadgets, or traversing the globe, I'm always fueled by a boundless curiosity and a passion for discovery. Join me on this exhilarating journey through life!
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