Hungary approves Sweden's membership in NATO

2024-02-26 17:46:04, Kosova & Bota CNA

Hungary approves Sweden's membership in NATO

Sweden's membership in NATO, along with Finland's recent membership, is the alliance's most significant expansion since the 1990s when it included Eastern European states.

During today's speech in the Assembly, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that Hungary "supports membership. NATO is a defense alliance. We form alliances to protect each other in the event of an attack from outside. There is no more serious commitment than this."

The ratification of Sweden's NATO membership follows Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson's visit to Budapest last week, during which the two countries signed an arms deal. Prime Minister Orban said that cooperation between Sweden and Hungary in the field of defense and Sweden's membership in NATO will strengthen Hungary's security.

"We have a long relationship with the Nordic state and we have also had disagreements. Many people from outside tried to intervene in the settlement of our disputes. They not only did not help, but hindered. "Hungary is a sovereign state and does not tolerate the dictates of others on it, either for the content of the agreement or its time frame," emphasized Hungarian Prime Minister Orban.

Stockholm abandoned its policy of neutrality in exchange for greater security through NATO after Russia's attack on Ukraine in 2022. The last time the Nordic state took part in a war was in 1814.

According to Western leaders, with Sweden's membership in NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin achieved exactly what he wanted to avoid when he started the war in Ukraine - the expansion of the alliance.

Sweden's decision to join NATO follows Finland's accession, becoming the alliance's 32nd country. But Sweden, unlike Finland, faced delays imposed by Turkey and Hungary, both of which continue to have good relations with Russia compared to other members of the US-led alliance.

Turkey made ratification of Sweden's membership conditional on demands for tougher action against Kurdistan Workers' Party militants, which it says have established bases in Sweden. Sweden changed laws and regulations around arms sales to please Turkey. Meanwhile, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan linked the ratification with the approval of the United States for the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey.

Hungary's delays in the ratification process were less clear. Budapest was mostly unhappy with Sweden's criticism of the direction democracy is taking in Hungary under nationalist Prime Minister Orban more than it had any concrete demands.

But after the ratification by Turkey, international pressure on Prime Minister Orban increased.

Sweden's membership in NATO is expected to contribute to the planning of defense and cooperation issues in the northern part of the alliance. It brings significant resources to the alliance, such as submarines capable of operating in the Baltic Sea and a large fleet of Swedish-made Gripen fighter jets, alongside increased defense spending expected to reach 2 percent of its output. internal./ VOA

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