'Not urgent' for Sweden to join Nato, says Hungary's Viktor Orbán

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'Not urgent' for Sweden to join Nato, says Hungary's Viktor Orbán
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers his address on the opening day of the parliament's autumn session in Budapest. Photo: Zoltan Mathe/MTI via AP

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told parliament that ratifying Sweden's Nato bid was not 'urgent', potentially further delaying the Nordic country's bid to join the military alliance.


Hungary has still not voted to approve the Nordic country's entry into Nato, having aligned itself with Turkey which had long blocked Sweden's membership before lifting its veto in July.

In the past, Orbán has repeatedly stated that Hungary supports Sweden's bid, stressing that it was merely a "technicality".

"I wonder if there is something urgent that would force us to ratify Sweden's Nato bid. I cannot see any such circumstance," Orbán told lawmakers.

Orbán underpinned his remarks by saying that there was "no threat to Sweden's security" and no military relationship with the Nordic country that could be jeopardised.

Budapest has often denounced what it called Stockholm's "open hostile attitude", accusing Swedish representatives of being "repeatedly keen to bash Hungary" on rule-of-law issues.


In recent weeks, criticism increased after a video from 2019 resurfaced that allegedly points to the democratic decline in Hungary.

"Serious accusations and fake informations are being spread to students in the schools of Sweden," Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto wrote in a letter sent to his counterpart in mid-September.

The video about Hungary being shown in schools "elevates the problem... to the level of international policy, and we will not accept that," Orbán said on Monday.

Helsinki and Stockholm ended decades of military non-alignment and decided to join the alliance in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In April, Finland became the 31st member of Nato.


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