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Hungarian parliamentary majority proposes February 26 vote to ratify Sweden’s NATO entry

The Hungarian parliament will begin its spring session on February 26 after a winter hiatus

BUDAPEST, February 20. /TASS/. The parliamentary faction of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Alliance party has proposed holding a vote in parliament on February 26 on whether to ratify an agreement for Sweden’s formal accession to NATO, faction leader Mate Kocsis said.

He sent a letter containing the proposal to Parliamentary Speaker Laszlo Kover. "We are proposing to put the issue of ratifying the agreement on the Kingdom of Sweden acceding to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on the agenda of the February 26 parliamentary session," he wrote to the speaker. Kocsis published a photo of the document on his page on Facebook (prohibited in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, a designated extremist organization).

The Hungarian parliament will begin its spring session on February 26 after a winter hiatus. It is expected that Kover, who sets the agenda, will put the proposal by Fidesz to a vote once the spring session opens. Together with its junior coalition partners, the Christian Democratic People's Party, Fidesz holds the majority in parliament and, thus, its proposal is likely to pass easily. Opposition parties have also signaled their support for the ratification of Sweden’s NATO bid for some time.

Hungary remains the only member of the North Atlantic Alliance whose parliament has not yet ratified Stockholm’s membership application. On January 24, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said, following a phone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, that the government supported Sweden joining the alliance and urged the parliament to approve this step "at the earliest convenience."

On March 27, 2023, Hungary’s parliament greenlighted Finland’s NATO accession but postponed its consideration of Sweden’s bid. The two Nordic countries applied for NATO membership simultaneously on May 18, 2022, saying that the move had been prompted by developments in Ukraine.