BUDAPEST, March 27. /TASS/. Hungary’s National Assembly (parliament) has approved Finland’s NATO membership bid, said the chairman of the session, which was broadcast on the Assembly’s website.
"The decision has been made," he announced after the overwhelming majority of lawmakers had voted to ratify Finland’s application to join the North Atlantic Alliance.
As many as 182 out of 199 Hungarian lawmakers cast their votes in favor of Finland’s NATO membership, with six voting against it.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry’s State Secretary, Tamas Menczer, who addressed the debate on behalf of the government, pointed out that the Finnish armed forces were ready to integrate into the bloc’s institutions, which would boost the security of all member states.
The Our Homeland nationalist party was the only parliamentary faction to oppose the decision, saying that the move by Russia’s neighboring country to join NATO "is one more step towards a world war." Six members of Our Homeland suggested that the vote be postponed and Hungary hold nationwide consultations on the issue. They also called for a moratorium on NATO’s further expansion.