Hungary Signals Approval for Sweden’s NATO Membership, Following Turkish Vote

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced that he will urge the parliament to vote on Sweden’s NATO membership, signaling his willingness to relent on the matter.

Orban also signals approval

Following the vote of the Turkish parliament in favor of Sweden’s NATO membership, Hungary has also indicated its willingness to relent: Prime Minister Orban has promised a soon-to-come vote on the matter.

There are still two steps remaining for Sweden’s NATO accession: after the vote in the Turkish parliament, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan must sign the law, and Hungary must vote in favor of accession. After a long hesitation, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has now signaled his willingness to relent: he will urge the parliament to vote on it as soon as possible, Orban announced in a phone call with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on the X platform (formerly Twitter). Stoltenberg welcomed Orban’s support. Orban did not specify when the vote could take place and whether a special session could be called for it – the next session of the Hungarian Parliament is scheduled to begin on February 27. The proposal has already been approved in the parliamentary committees in Budapest; now, only the plenary vote is missing.

German Government Urges Prompt Action

The German government also insists that Hungary quickly clears the way for Sweden’s NATO membership. “This must happen promptly,” said a spokesperson for the Foreign Office.

Just on Tuesday, Orban had expressed the need for discussions with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and invited him for negotiations. Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto stated that the goal of the meeting was to build trust, without providing further details. It has been 20 months since Sweden submitted its membership application. Finland, on the other hand, became a NATO member in 2023. Both Nordic countries had sought admission to the North Atlantic Defense Pact after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. In doing so, they give up their historically long-standing neutrality.