Hungarian Lawmakers Ratify Sweden's NATO Accession

Int’l Relations

Photo by MTI/Tibor Illyés

Hungary's parliament ratified Sweden's accession to NATO in a vote on Monday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

MPs voted 188 for and 6 against, with no abstentions on the promulgation of the protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of the Kingdom of Sweden.

Hungary's government submitted the bill ratifying Sweden's accession to NATO to lawmakers in the summer of 2022 and the debate of the measure finished in the spring of 2023. However, some lawmakers, who had earlier come under fire from the Swedish side for "undemocratic" activities, had been reluctant to put the measure to a final vote, the report notes.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán acknowledged after a meeting with his Swedish counterpart, Ulf Kristersson, in Budapest on Friday that bilateral agreements reached on defense cooperation had done much to restore trust between the two countries. 

The sides agreed on Friday to add another four aircraft to Hungary's fleet of Gripen fighters. A deal was also reached on the establishment of a joint center of excellence for artificial intelligence.

The Swedish PM acknowledged the vote in a post on social media and called Monday a "historic day" as all NATO members had now backed Swedish accession to the alliance. "Sweden stands ready to shoulder its responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security," he said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also welcomed the vote. "Sweden's membership will make us all stronger and safer", he said on X.

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