prime minister Viktor Orbán has accused the Swedish and Finnish governments of spreading “blatant lies” about Hungary, prompting questions among lawmakers in his party about whether the offers will be accepted. However, Orban confirmed that Hungary will send a parliamentary delegation to Sweden and Finland to seek clarification on matters before the ratification can be voted on in parliament.
According to a Diet statement sent to the Associated Press, the Hungarian delegation is scheduled to meet the Speaker of the Swedish Assembly Andreas Norlén and other lawmakers in the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, this coming Tuesday.
The delays have frustrated some members of the European Union as well as members of Hungary’s opposition parties. Liberal legislator and former Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Hungarian Ministry of Defence, Agnes Vadaicriticized the ruling Fidesz party for numerous delays, accusing them of deliberately slowing down the vote.
Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership last year because of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The countries have announced they want to join NATO together, but Hungary and Turkey are the only NATO members that have yet to ratify bids. The other 28 countries have accepted the offers. Adding a new member requires unanimous consent.
Turkey has pressed the two countries to crack down on exiled members of the Kurds and other groups it considers terrorists to secure ratification. The country has announced that it may vote for Finland’s membership, but not Sweden’s. President of the United States Joe Biden wants both Finland and Sweden to join NATO and focuses more on joining both countries than on joining them at the same time.
Regarding Finland’s application, the country’s parliament “approved all the laws necessary for joining NATO” on Wednesday in advance, and Hungary and Turkey have yet to ratify the application. However, the border between Finland and Russia remains a concern, and some members of the Hungarian government are worried about the addition of the country, which shares an 800-mile border with Russia. Finland started building a border fence on Tuesday, and most of the border is currently protected by wooden fences to prevent cattle from crossing.
Source: The Nordic Page