The Hungarian parliament has not yet voted on Sweden’s NATO membership. The country is not happy with the Swedish criticism of Prime Minister Orbán’s policy and wants to talk to Stockholm first about the problems. Hungary, together with Turkey, is the only NATO country that has not yet agreed to Sweden’s accession.
A spokesman for Orbán says Sweden has been “hostile” to Hungary for years. Also, the Swedish criticism of the rule of law in Hungary would “damage Hungarian interests”.
For example, in the eyes of Orbán’s party, a number of Swedish politicians are jointly responsible for the freezing of billions in EU aid to Budapest due to alleged violations of the rule of law and democracy.
Finland steps closer to NATO
Before a country can join NATO, all thirty members must give their approval. Sweden applied for NATO membership together with Finland after the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
Finland is further along in the accession process. Hungary has already given the green light for Finnish accession. Turkish President Erdogan also said that he no longer has any objections and that the Turkish parliament will vote on it. When that will happen is not clear.
In the case of Sweden, Ankara has not yet agreed, because of the way Sweden deals with Kurdish organizations such as the PKK and YPG. Turkey wants Sweden to take tougher action against these organizations before agreeing to NATO accession.
- Turkey starts ratification process for NATO accession Finland
- Orbán: more talks before Sweden and Finland can join NATO