Germany wants Hungary to speed up its approval of Sweden’s NATO membership application after the Hungarian leader’s ruling Fidesz party delayed ratification on Monday.
A senior German official told reporters in Berlin; Politico quoted him as saying:.
“We believe that this is now a matter of loyalty to the Alliance and, in general, friendly behavior between EU countries, and that this should happen very quickly,” the official said.
Orban’s MPs boycotted a parliamentary session on Sweden’s NATO accession
MPs from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party boycotted a parliamentary session on Sweden’s accession to NATO, which will further slow down the country’s accession to the Alliance.
Members of Orban’s Fidesz party did not attend Monday’s meeting, which the Hungarian opposition called to ratify Sweden’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The next opportunity for ratification will be on February 26, when the Hungarian parliament returns from its winter vacation.
Hungary is the only NATO member that hasn’t approved Sweden’s application
Hungary is the only NATO member that has not yet approved Sweden’s application to join the military alliance.
In January, Orban officially endorsed Sweden’s candidacy after months of delays, but the Hungarian parliament still needs to approve it.
The parliamentary vote should be a formality, as Orban’s ruling Fidesz party has a comfortable majority. But Fidesz leaders on Monday demanded that Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson first visit Budapest before the parliamentary vote.
Swedish PM ruled out further talks with Budapest
Kristersson ruled out further talks with Budapest on Sweden’s application but said he would be willing to meet with Orban after the Hungarian parliament ratifies the application.
Although visits between EU partners are quite normal, the same German official emphasized that linking them in this way should be avoided.
A US State Department spokesman said that Hungary has expressed support for Sweden’s accession to NATO and that Stockholm has fulfilled its obligations for membership in the Alliance.