Hungary’s approval paves the way for Sweden to join NATO, marking the final step towards membership | NATO News

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The Hungarian parliament has finally put an end to over 18 months of delays by voting to ratify Sweden’s bid to join NATO. This decision comes after much wrangling and opposition from Hungary’s nationalist government, with the vote passing overwhelmingly with 188 members in favor and only six against.

This approval now means that all 31 NATO members have given their backing for Sweden to join, with Hungary being the last to do so. The vote signifies a historic day for Sweden, with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson expressing readiness to support NATO’s security efforts. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also welcomed the decision, stating that Sweden’s membership will make the alliance stronger and safer.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has faced criticism for his close ties to Russia, acknowledged the importance of strengthening Hungary’s security through military cooperation with Sweden. He criticized external pressure from EU and NATO allies to move forward on Sweden’s membership, emphasizing Hungary’s sovereignty in decision-making.

Following a meeting between Orban and Kristersson, a defence industry agreement was reached, including Hungary’s purchase of Swedish-made fighter jets. This agreement aims to enhance Hungary’s military capabilities and participation in joint NATO operations. With a presidential signature expected to formalize Sweden’s NATO membership, the country will soon become the alliance’s 32nd member.

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