Sweden offered Orbán to discuss the fate of its NATO application in Brussels

Sweden offered Orbán to discuss the fate of its NATO application in Brussels

The Prime Minister of Sweden, Ulf Kristersson, invited the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, to meet next week in Brussels to discuss Stockholm’s application for membership in NATO and other bilateral issues. This was reported in the Swedish Cabinet of Ministers on Thursday.

Kristersson sent a letter to Orbán, in which he also informed that he accepts the invitation received earlier this week to visit Budapest “at a time convenient for both politicians.”

The Reuters agency reminds that on January 23, Viktor Orbán invited his Swedish colleague to Budapest for negotiations on Sweden’s entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The speaker of the Hungarian parliament said on January 25 that there is no need for urgent approval of Stockholm’s application for NATO membership.

On Tuesday this week, Sweden’s application was approved by the Turkish parliament, and in the coming days, Turkish President Recep Erdogan is expected to sign the lawmakers’ decision. Thus, among the NATO countries, Hungary will remain the only country that did not approve the Swedish application.

Turkey and Hungary maintain the closest contacts with Russia in comparison with other NATO member states. Each of the two countries put forward their own claims to Sweden. Ankara insisted that Stockholm hand over to it the activists of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party who had received asylum in Sweden, whom the Turkish authorities consider terrorists. In July 2023, Erdogan agreed to support Sweden’s bid after negotiations with the NATO Secretary General. Budapest accuses Stockholm of the policy of “denigration” of Hungary and regular comments on the country’s departure from the norms of the rule of law, Deutsche Welle noted.

  • Sweden announced its intention to join NATO shortly after the start of the Russian large-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. At the same time, a similar application was submitted by Finland, which became the 31st member of the alliance in April last year. These two Scandinavian countries adhered to military neutrality for a long time, but changed their position after the start of the war.

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