‘Hungary supports the Nato membership of Sweden’

A delegation of Hungarian parliamentarians met senior Swedish politicians on Tuesday to discuss Sweden's Nato application.

'Hungary supports the Nato membership of Sweden'
Hungary's deputy parliamentary speaker Csaba Hende addressing reporters outside the Swedish parliament. Photo: Caisa Rasmussen/TT

Hungary and Turkey are the only two Nato countries that have yet to ratify Sweden’s and Finland’s membership bids.

Budapest is expected to vote in favour of both countries joining the alliance “in the coming weeks”, the deputy speaker of the Hungarian parliament Csaba Hende told reporters in Stockholm.

“We started the debate last week and normally when everything goes well, in a couple of weeks time such a debate is over”, said Hende, who is a member of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party.

Hungary’s repeated ratification delays have raised concerns in Sweden and Finland, whose bids are already being held back by Turkey.


According to the Hungarian parliament’s website, the vote was initially due to take place between March 6th and 9th but has now been pushed back to March 20th at the earliest.

Hende and other Hungarian MPs on Tuesday met with the Swedish speaker of parliament for a “courtesy visit”.

“It was warm, friendly, forward-looking, and carried with it the hope of a new beginning”, Hende said.

“We made it clear that the Hungarian government, the Hungarian president, and the vast majority of MPs unanimously support the Nato membership of Sweden,” he said.

But he noted it was “necessary” to improve bilateral relations between Stockholm and Budapest.

Sweden also needed to show Hungary “more respect”, he said, accusing Sweden of spreading “lies”.

“It would be good if in the future, Swedish politicians, members of government, MPs and MEPs would avoid portraying Hungary in a false light by alluding to an absence of rule of law that is based on clearly untrue facts”, he said.

Sweden is concerned that Hungary could use its Nato bid as leverage in its battles with the European Union.

In December, Brussels froze billions of euros worth of funds pending anti-corruption reforms expected from Budapest.

The Hungarian government has also, unlike the rest of Europe, trod an ambiguous path on the war in Ukraine and has refused to criticise Russian President Vladimir Putin by name.

Member comments

  1. Hungary need to quickly decide whose side they are on. The civilised world, NATO and the EU or friends with a terrorist state which will only mean Hungary becomes isolated to the rest of the civilised world which they can’t afford to do anyway.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Swedish PM to seek explanation from Hungary on Nato delay

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Thursday he would seek an explanation from Hungary about why it is delaying its parliament's ratification of Sweden's Nato bid but not Finland's.

Swedish PM to seek explanation from Hungary on Nato delay

“I’m going to ask why they are now separating Sweden from Finland. These are signals we have not received before, so I’m absolutely going to raise this with (Hungarian prime minister Viktor) Orbán today,” Kristersson told public broadcaster Sveriges Radio.

Orbán and Kristersson are both attending an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday.

Helsinki and Stockholm ended decades of military non-alignment last May when they decided to join the Atlantic alliance in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Their applications were accepted at a June Nato summit that signalled the Western world’s desire to stand up to Russia in the face of Europe’s gravest conflict since World War II.

But the bids need to be ratified by all 30 of the alliance members’ parliaments, which only Turkey and Hungary have yet to do.

Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party has said parliament will ratify Finland’s bid on March 27th, but “will decide on the case of Sweden later”.

On Thursday, Orbán’s chief-of-staff Gergely Gulyás told reporters there was “a serious chance” the Swedish bid would be ratified during the ongoing parliamentary session which runs until June 15.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has meanwhile also asked parliament to quickly ratify Finland’s bid, but has held up Sweden’s following a litany of disputes.