Blockade: Sweden's accession to NATO: Stoltenberg warns Hungary

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called on Hungary to immediately agree to Sweden joining the alliance.

Blockade: Sweden's accession to NATO: Stoltenberg warns Hungary

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called on Hungary to immediately agree to Sweden joining the alliance. The government in Budapest has repeatedly stated that Hungary will not be the last NATO state to ratify Sweden's accession, he said in a press conference with Hungarian President Katalin Novak in Brussels. He is now counting on Hungary to fulfill this obligation. “The Hungarian Parliament should vote for ratification without further delay,” demanded the Norwegian.

The background to Stoltenberg's clear words is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's announcement last month that he would give up his block on Swedish accession. The expansion of the alliance could only be stopped by Hungary because all other NATO states have already agreed to it. Ideally, Sweden should now be accepted into the defense alliance as the 32nd member at a meeting of foreign ministers on November 28th and 29th.

Sweden wanted to join NATO as early as summer 2022

Sweden had originally hoped to join NATO in the summer of 2022. However, the country's admission was blocked by Turkish President Erdogan until a few weeks ago. He accused Swedish politicians of a lack of commitment against "terrorist organizations" such as the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK). However, after concessions from Sweden, Erdogan recently announced that he would allow the so-called accession protocol to be ratified by the Turkish parliament.

At the press conference, Hungarian President Novak was optimistic that the Hungarian government would keep its promise. Ultimately, however, it is Parliament and its members that are decisive, she claimed. She herself sees more reasons for Sweden joining NATO than reasons against it. In Hungary there has recently been repeated sharp criticism of Swedish statements on the rule of law and corruption in the country.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sweden and Finland decided to apply for membership in NATO after a long period of military freedom from alliances. Finland was admitted to NATO as the 31st member on April 4th of this year.

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