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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Sweden’s NATO Membership Final After Hungary Approves Bid

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Sweden’s bid to join NATO has been approved by Hungary’s parliament, removing the last remaining hurdle.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Nordic country submitted an application to join the defense alliance. A new member must be approved by each member, and Hungary had hesitated, claiming that Sweden was against it. However, Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, declared last week that the two nations were now “prepared to die for each other”.

It is the duty of all NATO members to defend an ally that is under assault.

Ulf Kristersson, the prime minister of Sweden, called the country’s decision to end its 200-year neutrality a “historic day” and a “big step”. “Sweden is an outstanding country, but we are joining Nato to even better defend everything we are and everything we believe in,” he said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared the alliance to be “stronger and safer” as a result of the Hungarian decision.

The president must now sign the parliament’s permission before Sweden is formally invited to join the 31-member organization. Usually, the procedure takes a few days.

Vladimir Putin and Orban are close associates and the latter is a nationalist politician. He has frequently obstructed EU attempts to provide Ukraine with military assistance.

Sweden is among the European Union nations that have charged Hungary for retreating from the EU’s democratic values. Conversely, Zoltan Kovacs, the spokesperson for Orban, charged that Swedish officials were perched on a “crumbling throne of moral superiority”.

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