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Hungarian Parliament Approves Sweden's Bid To Join NATO

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Hungarian Parliament Approves Sweden's Bid To Join NATO

Now the application must be approved by the President of Hungary.

The Hungarian Parliament approved Sweden's application to join NATO on February 26. 188 deputies voted “for”, six “against”, the European publication Politico

“Sweden's entry into NATO will strengthen Hungary's security, so I urge you to approve this application,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the opening of the spring session of parliament.

Initially, the Hungarian parliament planned to vote on Sweden's membership in the alliance at an extraordinary meeting on February 5 — that is, before the decision of the Turkish parliament. However, Fidesz deputies boycotted the vote. Party leader Máté Kocsis spoke in favor of holding such a vote only after the visit of the Swedish Prime Minister to Budapest.

On February 23, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson nevertheless visited Budapest to discuss a number of issues with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The head of the republic called the conversation “interesting, exciting and productive.” He said parliament would “take the necessary decisions” at the vote on February 26. The leaders also discussed defense cooperation. Sweden, as part of the security agreement, promised to supply Hungary with four Gripen fighters.

Once approved by the Hungarian Parliament, the decision will be sent to the country's interim President László Kövér, who has five days to approve the application and forward his decision to the US State Department. In the case of Finland, this process took three days. Washington, in turn, officially invites the new country to join the alliance.

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