Hungary fails to okay Sweden's accession to NATO

31 JUL, 12:49

Hungary fails to okay Sweden's accession to NATO after parliament members boycott meeting

Hungary remains the only state apart from Turkey which has not ratified documents on Sweden's accession to NATO

BUDAPEST, July 31. /TASS/. Hungary's parliament was unable to hold a vote on admitting Sweden to NATO during its emergency meeting, which was convened under the opposition’s initiative. The ruling Fidesz party and its partners from the Christian Democratic party boycotted the meeting, so there was no quorum to hold the vote.

The meeting, which was livestreamed on the parliament website, only included an exchange of opinions between members of opposition parties on a number of domestic and foreign policy issues.

Hungary’s unicameral parliament wrapped up its spring session on July 7; but Speaker Laszlo Kover had to call an emergency meeting because of an initiative put forth by 49 opposition lawmakers. Under Hungarian law, 40 votes are enough to initiate such a procedure. Meanwhile, the Fidesz, which, combined with the Christian Democrats, occupies 135 of the 199 seats in parliament, stated its readiness to consider Sweden’s admission to NATO only later this fall. The Hungarian parliament will resume its operation in September.

Hungary remains the only state apart from Turkey who has not ratified documents on Sweden’s accession to NATO. Previously, Budapest expressed its discontent over Swedish politicians’ unfriendly remarks and held discussions with Stockholm in this regard. Meanwhile, Budapest coordinated its actions with Ankara, which has been pushing the kingdom to take more decisive action against Kurdish extremists.

Yet Hungary has stated repeatedly that it has no intention to block Sweden’s admission to the alliance and "will not be the last to ratify this agreement."

The government forwarded documents on the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO for ratification last summer. On March 27, Hungarian lawmakers approved Finland’s admission, but postponed the discussion regarding Sweden. Finland and Sweden filed their applications on May 18, 2022, pointing out that this step was forced by the events in Ukraine.