Dave DeCamp International nato

Hungary to Approve Sweden, Finland NATO Memberships Early Next Year

Hungary and Turkey are the only two NATO members that have not ratified.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest, Hungary on February 11, 2019. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]

By Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Thursday that Hungary supports Sweden and Finland joining NATO and that the parliament will formally ratify their memberships early next year.

“As we have already informed Sweden and Finland, Hungary supports the NATO membership of these two countries. It will be on the agenda of the first session of parliament” next year, Orban told reporters in Slovakia, according to AFP.

So far, the legislatures of 28 out of 30 NATO members have signed off on the two Nordic nations joining the alliance, with only Hungary and Turkey holding out.

Orban’s government submitted the legislation to the parliament back in July, but it was never brought to a vote. Hungary’s parliament is set to hold its first session of 2023 in February, and that’s when Orban expects the memberships to be approved.

Orban has been at odds with the rest of the EU over sanctions on Russia and joint aid to Ukraine. The EU blocked funding to the Hungarian government after he won reelection over allegations of corruption. Orban’s chief of staff has previously said this issue needs to be worked out before parliament can discuss Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids.

Turkey has said that it won’t approve of the Nordic nations joining NATO if they don’t live up to a deal signed back in June. Ankara’s main concern is Sweden and Finland’s alleged support for Kurdish militants, and Turkey has launched a major operation against Kurds in northern Syria, which could further complicate the NATO process.


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Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

8 comments

  1. Back when I was in high school, I learned that one of the causes of WWI was the plethora of ‘entangling alliances’. This allowed the assassination of a ‘grand duke’ to precipitate the death of millions and destroy vast amounts of infrastructure.
    So, are Europeans too stupid to learn from their own history?

    1. @Daedalus

      Good to see you’re awake to the issue of fragmented alliances. This is precisely why it would beneficial if NATO remained the only military alliance of Western countries. Good to see such a principled supporter of NATO on this forum.

  2. Why are my tax dollars supporting countries with autocratic, authoritarian non democratic leaders in NATO? (Public dollars for NATO membership.) How is this not an example of the gross lack of integrity and moral/ethical values of the USA whose imperialist ambitions are cloaked under “spreading democracy”?

    1. @Seline Sweet

      Unfortunately Hungary was a genuine democracy when it joined NATO, but has since drifted off to (in its own words) become an ‘illiberal’ democracy (read an autoritarian regime).

      I don’t know how hard or how easy it is to kick a country out of NATO, but in the case of Hungary it seems worth a try. Perhaps write to your congressman or senator?

    2. unlike USA—Hungary universal health care free medicine, tuition free university, state paid mandatory parental leave, massive support for current govt in legislature, little crime low incarceration etc…this “authoritarian” govt is preferable to the US oligarchy

    3. NATO is a military alliance. The military isn’t known for being particularly ‘democratic’, in fact, it’s the opposite.

  3. EU an American vassal can only distort progress in Hungary during Orban’s leadership. NATO—an imperialist alliance, is fragmenting. internal antagonism paralyzes action. these divisions are more acute and obvious today

  4. It’s interesting to see Hungary’s totally unprincipled stance in attempting to weaponise its veto powers in order to blackmail the rest of NATO (and the vital interests of Finland and Sweden) over a totally unrelated issue. To wit: a long list accusations of Hangarian corruption, Hungarian misappropriation of funds, Hungary’s stifling of the freedom of the press, Hungary’s stifling of freedom of speech on part of the EU. This Hungarian misconduct finally, finally resulted in punitive measures (i.e. a curtailing of Hungary’s fine tradition of sponging on EU subsidies which its misappropriates to purchase Mr. Orban’s political party extended lease on power).

    Hungary correctly assesses that it has failed to defend itself against these accusations and will therefore see its habitual sponging on EU funds curtailed, Hungary is casting about for a solution that does not involve getting rid of the corruption that has become so entrenched in its political system.

    Far from showing contrition it casts around for the most hurtful and dirty lever it can find, which happens to be its NATO veto right.

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