Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has promised that Finland and Sweden’s application to join NATO will definitely be among the first items on the agenda when the country’s parliament reconvenes next year, possibly around the end of the year. mid February.
“I want to emphasize that the Swedes and Finns did not lose a single minute of their membership because of Hungary,” Orban said, quoted by Euronews, adding that the prime ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia pushed him forward in the process during their meeting on Thursday.
“We have confirmed to both Finland and Sweden that Hungary supports their membership in NATO and that at the first session of next year the Parliament will put this on the agenda. ,” The Hungarian prime minister announced, apparently after facing pressure during the Visegrad Group meeting in Slovakia.
Last month, Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said there was a “a good chance” The Hungarian parliament will vote before the autumn session ends in mid-December. The parliament usually reconvenes in early February.
In May, amid Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, Sweden and neighboring Finland broke their decades-long neutral stance and formally applied to join NATO. While the bloc accepted the requests, the Nordic bids had to be ratified by all 30 member states, and Türkiye and Hungary’s approvals are still pending.
Earlier this month, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock reprimanded Budapest and Ankara for delaying the ratification process, stressing that there was a “base is crystal clear” for allowing two Nordic countries to join the military bloc.
Hungarian officials have repeatedly stated support for NATO expansion and expect the measure to be easily approved once it is discussed. Meanwhile, Ankara is asking Stockholm and Helsinki to do more to fight “terrorism,” especially outlawed Kurdish groups in Türkiye. Negotiations on this matter are still ongoing.