“NI don’t believe there is urgency and I don’t believe there is an exceptional situation”, declared the President of Parliament, who is seen as close to Hungary’s ultranationalist Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, to the online newspaper Index.hu.
Despite the Government’s promises, Hungary is the only member country of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that has not yet ratified Sweden’s membership of the Atlantic Alliance, after Turkey approved it last Tuesday.
Orbán, whose party has a two-thirds majority in the Chamber, justifies the delay, among other issues, with Swedish politicians’ criticism of Hungary’s authoritarian drift.
In recent months, both Orbán and several of his ministers have indicated that “Hungary will not be the last country to ratify Sweden’s entry [na NATO]”.
After Turkish approval, Orbán invited his Swedish counterpart to come to Budapest to “negotiate” the Scandinavian country’s accession to NATO, but the initiative was rejected by Sweden.
The Magyar Prime Minister assured NATO Secretary General Jans Stoltenberg that he would continue to “insist” that the Hungarian parliament vote in favor of membership.
But Kövér added that “someone has to be last” and denounced Sweden for “treating Hungary with arrogance and negligence”, echoing pro-government MPs’ complaints about Swedish criticism.
Kövér questioned whether Swedish politicians “are aware of what an alliance means” and hinted that he will not call an extraordinary session of Parliament to discuss membership.
Sweden and Finland decided to renounce their historical neutrality and applied to join NATO after Russia attacked Ukraine in February 2022.
After a few months, Turkey and Hungary gave the ‘green light’ for Finland’s accession, but Sweden’s accession has been blocked until now.
Orbán is the EU leader closest to Russian President Vladimir Putin and is the only member of the European Union (EU) within NATO that is completely opposed to sending weapons to Ukraine.
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