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Hungary to vote in early March on Finland and Sweden joining NATO

The Hungarian Parliament will decide between March 6 and 9 on NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, according to the agenda published on Wednesday.

The candidacy of the two Nordic countries, which must be accepted unanimously by the 30 member states of NATO, has been ratified by all with the exception of Turkey and Hungary.

Hungarian MPs will debate the issue next week, before a separate vote for each of the two countries between March 6 and 9, the parliament said on its website.

The deadline had been postponed several times on the grounds of a legislative traffic jam, and the opposition accused the government of Viktor Orban of dragging its feet.

The nationalist prime minister, a close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is indeed keen to maintain ties with Moscow despite the war in Ukraine.

He refrains from criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin and refuses to send weapons to kyiv, calling instead for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks.

In the face of criticism, Budapest has however assured several times that it “has no objections” to the candidacies of Finland and Sweden for the Atlantic alliance.

“We have a clear position,” Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at the end of January. “We support the expansion of NATO, and when Parliament meets again in February, the issue will be on the agenda and we will resolve it quickly,” he promised.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his part suggested in early February a possible ratification of Finland’s membership without that, jointly filed, of Sweden, which remains blocked by Ankara.

Already accused of harboring Kurdish activists and sympathizers whom it describes as “terrorists”, Stockholm finds itself at an impasse to win the green light from Ankara after a series of anti-Turkish demonstrations and the burning of a Koran.

source: sudinfo