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Submitted by JP on Mon, 02/26/2024 - 16:55
Hungary’s Parliament Overwhelmingly Approves Sweden’s NATO Membership

Hungary's parliament has approved Sweden's bid to join NATO. The vote, which passed with 188 votes for and six against, has cleared the way for the Nordic nation's accession to the military alliance. Budapest stood as the final hurdle to Sweden's NATO accession following Turkey's ratification in January.

The Hungarian Parliament approved Sweden’s accession to NATO. The result of the vote on the approval of the admission of Sweden to NATO is seen on a screen during a session of the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest. Photo by ZOLTAN MATHE/MTI/PAP/EPA

The government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán submitted the protocols for approving Sweden's entry into NATO in July 2022. However, progress on the matter stalled in parliament due to opposition from lawmakers within the governing party. The vote in Hungarian parliament on Monday ended months of delays.

Sweden is to become the 32nd member of the NATO alliance. Swedish Prime Minister announced a historic step away from 200 years of neutrality. "Today is a historic day. The parliaments of all NATO member states have now voted in favour of Swedish accession to NATO. Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security," Kristersson wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday.

“As far as Russia is concerned, the only thing we can expect is that they will not like Sweden becoming a member of NATO,” Ulf Kristersson was quoted as saying. “Sweden’s membership of NATO will make us all stronger and safer,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on X.

The integration of Sweden and Finland into NATO - two Nordic countries applied to join the alliance in May 2022 - represents the alliance's most noteworthy expansion since the addition of Eastern European members following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The inclusion of these two Nordic nations not only bolsters NATO's strategic presence in the region and the Baltic Sea but also serves as a resolute message to Moscow.