Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the last remaining holdout in Sweden’s bid to join NATO, now says he supports its application and vows that Hungary’s parliament will say yes “at the first possible opportunity.”
Orbán’s remark, made during a call today with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, comes a day after he asked his Swedish counterpart to first fly to Hungary for negotiations on NATO membership, only to be snubbed by the Swedish government.
Hungary also broke a promise not to become the last to ratify Sweden’s bid, when the Turkish parliament approved Stockholm’s membership status late Tuesday, some 20 months after Stockholm submitted the application when Russia’s war against Ukraine upended the Scandinavian country’s centuries-old stance of neutrality.
“I reaffirmed that the Hungarian government supports the NATO-membership of Sweden,” Orbán tweeted. “I also stressed that we will continue to urge the Hungarian National Assembly to vote in favor of Sweden’s accession and conclude the ratification at the first possible opportunity.”
Referring to the “good call” with Orbán, Stoltenberg said: “I welcome the clear support of the Prime Minister and his government for Sweden’s NATO membership. I look forward to the ratification as soon as parliament reconvenes.”
The Hungarian parliament is expected to reconvene in mid-February.