NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Allied Command Transformation, French Air and Space Force General Philippe Lavigne, meets the media during the NATO Industry Forum in Stockholm, Sweden, 25 October 2023. EPA-EFE/Jonas Ekstroemer


Hungary set to ratify Swedish bid to join NATO


Hungary is set to approve the accession of Sweden into NATO.

Máté Kocsis, the head of the Hungarian parliamentary group of Fidesz, the ruling party of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, wrote to Parliament Speaker László Kövér on February 20 requesting that a vote on the issue be set for February 26, the first day of the Parliament’s spring session.

Kocsis announced that his party would back Sweden’s application to join the transatlantic military alliance.

Fidesz has an absolute majority in the Hungarian Parliament.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden, together with Finland, applied to join NATO.

Hungary was unsupportive regarding Sweden for some time. Budapest had long been irritated by Swedish criticism regarding rule of law in Hungary.

Turkey had also been reluctant but, in late January, the Turkish Parliament approved Sweden’s application to join NATO after securing a number of concessions, in particular regarding Kurdish militias.

The decision to let countries join NATO is made with unanimity, making Hungary’s latest decision crucial.