Sweden clears the last hurdle on the way to joining NATO

After long discussions, Hungary agreed to Sweden joining NATO. The country has thus overcome the last hurdle.

The Hungarian Parliament has ratified Sweden’s accession to NATO. This seals the acceptance of the Nordic EU country into the transatlantic alliance as the 32nd member state.

Shortly before the Hungarian Parliament voted, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán pledged his support for this project. “Today we will (…) support Sweden’s accession to NATO,” said the right-wing populist politician at the beginning of the plenary session. At the same time, Orbán reiterated that he sees “no military solution” to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but only an end to the war through negotiations.

Orbán wanted to resolve “bilateral disputes”.

Orbán emphasized that before ratifying Sweden’s accession to NATO, it was important to clarify bilateral disputes. This was done “in a dignified manner” by the visit of Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson last Friday. Attempts from outside to intervene in these disputes were not helpful. Hungary is a sovereign state and does not tolerate any outside interference.

Orbán emphasized that military cooperation agreements had also been concluded “for mutual benefit.” He was referring to agreements for the purchase and maintenance of Swedish Jas 39 Gripen fighter jets, which were signed on Friday during Kristersson’s visit.

Hungary and Russia maintain good relations

Orbán maintains good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nevertheless, on Monday he described Russia as an aggressor in the Ukraine conflict. An end to this war, “in which Russia attacked Ukraine,” must be brought about as soon as possible, he said. Hungary calls for an immediate ceasefire.

However, Orbán’s Fidesz party showed again on Monday that it does not want to take a clear position against Putin. When an opposition representative in the parliamentary plenary asked for a minute’s silence for the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who recently died in a Russian prison camp, the Fidesz parliamentarians and their coalition party KDNP (Christian Democratic People’s Party) remained seated demonstratively. Only the opposition representatives rose from their seats.